Marie-Laure wakes up after a night of resting in Saint-Malo. Madame Manec greets her. Marie-Laure asks her if the entire house belongs to her great-uncle, and Manec says yes. She explains that Etienne lives in the house, but rarely comes out of his room, which is on the fifth floor of his massive house.
The novel now has some elements of the Gothic mystery novel to add to its blend of genres. For example, one Gothic novel trope is that a guest—usually a young girl—comes to stay at a big, intimidating house, and slowly gets to know the owner of the house, often a mysterious older man.
In the following days, Marie-Laure asks Marie-Laure’s father about the German invasion of Paris. He explains that the soldiers have occupied the city, and will try to make French people speak German and behave like Germans. Marie-Laure tells her father that everything will be okay—they’ll live with Etienne for a while, and then eventually go back to Paris and get her copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Marie-Laure’s father continues to tell his daughter things that can’t possibly be true—that they’re going to return to Paris to retrieve her book, for example. (In all probability, the house would be ransacked by the time they return to Paris). Marie-Laure’s father isn’t exactly lying—he’s just dealing with tragedy through fantasy. Like his daughter, he wants to believe that they’ll be back soon, so he repeats this to himself and to Marie-Laure.