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The City of Ember

The City of Ember


by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember Chapter 16 Summary

The Singing

  • Lina books it, but the guards catch her and bring her to the Gathering Hall. She's thrown in a room to wait.
  • The mayor comes in, looking bigger and badder than ever. He makes a boring speech about how she's disobedient, and children cannot understand the complex reality of the situation. He threatens to lock her in the Prison Room for a long time. Um, dude, she's twelve. Maybe you should chill.
  • Lina looks around the room, planning her escape, and right then, the lights go out.
  • She makes a dash for the stairway door, and climbs the stairs to the roof. The lights come back on, and when Lina reaches the roof, no one has come after her yet.
  • She can see and hear the people of Ember singing the three great songs of Ember: "The Song of the City," "The Song of the River," and "The Song of Darkness." As Lina listens, she reconsiders her decision not to take Poppy with her. Maybe she's made a mistake.
  • Then the lights go out again—and they stay out, for a very long time. Lina thinks about shouting at the people gathered below her and telling them the truth, but when she makes up her mind to do it, she hears the sounds of panic, as though a riot is starting.
  • No one would be able to hear her over all that ruckus—and none of it will matter if the lights don't come back on. She's stranded on the rooftop, unable to see a thing.
  • That's when she sees a lonely, flickering light in the distance—it's Doon with his candle, walking toward the Pipeworks. Lina wants to join him, and she has an idea. But first the lights have to come back on…
  • Lina hopes and wishes, and sure enough, they do. She climbs down from the Gathering Hall roof, and hides before anyone else can see her. As soon as she finds Mrs. Murdo and Poppy, she can follow her new plan.

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