There is excitement in Paris: there are rumors that the Museum of Natural History is going to display a rare diamond. The stone, Marie-Laure overhears a man telling his friend, has been in the museum’s collection for many years, but for mysterious reasons, it hasn’t been shown until now. Marie-Laure is now ten years old, and her blindness has given her an active imagination—she can visualize anything. She reads whatever she can find, and especially enjoys the last book her father Daniel bought her: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
As Marie-Laure grows, she continues to read and study the world around her. The return of the Sea of Flames—clearly the stone that the museum is going to display—presents a challenge: will Marie-Laure continue to fear the diamond irrationally, or will her scientific turn of mind convince her to ignore the gem’s supposed curse?
Marie-Laure, remembering the stories of the cursed Sea of Flames, asks her father Daniel if he believes the curse is real. Marie-Laure’s father replies that he doesn’t believe it at all. Marie-Laure also asks Dr. Geffard what he thinks, but he gives her a very technical answer about how diamonds are produced from coal. Nevertheless, Marie-Laure confesses to Dr. Geffard that she hopes her father never touches the cursed diamond.
Marie-Laure enjoys science, but she is also still a child, and subject to natural human superstition. She can’t help but fear the concept of fate—the idea that humans aren’t in control of their own lives, no matter how clever or well-trained they are. Her fears also show just how valuable her father is to her, as she wants to protect him from anything that might harm him.