As the chapter begins, Marie-Laure’s father is introducing her to an old woman named Madame Manec. Manec seems overjoyed to meet Marie-Laure, and she lets them both inside.
Our first impressions of the house are unambiguously cheery: things finally seem to be looking up for Marie-Laure and her father.
Inside, Madame Manec feeds Marie-Laure delicious food—eggs and peaches. Marie-Laure is so famished that she eats everything she’s given in only a few minutes. Meanwhile, Marie-Laure’s father discusses Etienne with Manec. Marie-Laure comes to understand that Manec is her great-uncle’s maid and cook.
Marie-Laure is finally given a delicious meal (peaches will be important later in the book!), but the very pleasure of these scenes makes us apprehensive for Etienne, the supposedly crazy owner of the house—we wonder why he isn’t greeting his new guests.