80 pages 2 hours read

Victor Hugo

Les Miserables

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1862

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Part 2, Books 5-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2, Book 5 Summary: "Silent Stalkers in the Dark"

The narrator describes the city of Paris as it was when they were young. The nostalgic descriptions convey the narrator's love for a city, even though the narrator has not returned to the French capital for many years, and it is now transformed.

Returning to the main narrative, Valjean and Cosette are chased by Javert and his men through the labyrinthine Parisian streets. Cosette trusts him to keep her safe, so Valjean decides to place his own trust in God. As he runs, he sees more guards in the streets. When faced with a dead end, he uses the "formidable talents of a convict" (345) and heaves Cosette over a wall by fashioning a harness from some nearby rope. Keen to stress the importance of the situation and hoping to keep the girl attentive, Valjean tells Cosette that they are being pursued by "that Thénardier woman" (346). They find themselves in a large, unusual garden and wait in a shed until the soldiers pass. As they hide, they hear the sound of a woman singing. They spend the night in the very cold shed. Cosette sleeps, while Valjean stays awake.