It is December, 1943, and Marie-Laure is 15 years old. There’s a decree that all non-essential personnel must leave Saint-Malo soon. Etienne tells Marie-Laure that they can’t leave, as they’re accomplishing too much for the French cause. Marie-Laure isn’t sure what to think of Etienne’s decision. Her life, she thinks, has become gray—there is no excitement left in fighting for the French resistance. Her only joys come from talking to Etienne and remembering her past.
Marie-Laure seems to have fallen into real depression, especially now that she accepts that her father isn’t coming back any time soon. Through it all, however, Marie-Laure continues to be good friends with Etienne—the tragedies of Manec’s death and Daniel’s disappearance have pushed them closer together.