In the book so far we are introduced to the characters; a blind French girl named Marie-Laure LeBlanc and a German boy named Werner Pfennig. The setting is Europe on the verge of war. The majority of this section is flashback to introduce the characters and their personality. Marie-Laure lives in Paris with her father, a locksmith who works at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. She learns to find her way around with the help of her father and as she refines her spacial awareness she develops a habit of associating things with smells or sounds. She becomes very interested in the worlds of books like Around the World in 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when her father gives them to her on her birthdays. Werner grows up in a very different situation. He and his sister Jutta live in a orphaned children's home run by a kind-spirited French-German nun named Frau Elena in a German mining town called Zollverein. Their father died in a mine collapse as is the case with a lot of the other orphans there. Werner is unique, however, because he has a burning curiosity to understand things and how they work. They salvage a broken radio and he manages to fix it and even go as far as improving its speakers so that the whole children's home can hear. The quote "The air swarms with so much that is invisible! How he wishes he had eyes to see the ultraviolet, eyes to see the infrared, eyes to see radio waves crowding the darkening sky, flashing through the walls of the house." describes his yearning to learn about science and the backstage of the world. Their paths come closer together a bit later when Germany threatens to occupy France and Marie-Laure and her father have to flee France to her Uncle Etienne's house in Saint-Malo. Somehow that is yet to be described, Werner is stationed in Saint-Malo as a soldier once it is German occupied, and that is where the first quarter of my book leaves off.
We know that their paths will cross soon and that this will probably cause, or be at the time that, the conflict arises. The war at this point is already in motion and this could add another level of danger.
I hope that the two meet in good faith and bond over their curiosity for things, Werner probably knows some French because he lives with Frau Elena so they might have some conversation, Werner might even teach her some German. I wonder what will happen to Marie-Laure's family and that might be part of the conflict. I definitely love the book so far, I feel that it is a perfect combination of reality and fiction in my favorite era. I enjoy how the book is set up with the different settings and time frames, while some might consider it to be confusing and poor for continuity I think it is great and adds to the rising tension. I am very curious to see what happens next.
I will comment on Melia and Lillie's blogs.