Marie-Laure lives in Paris with her father, a locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. She goes blind because of cataracts, and he helps her cope with blindness by buying her Jules Verne adventure novels written in Braille
Werner grows up in the countryside of Zollverein, Germany, together with his sister, Jutta, in an orphanage run by Frau Elena. Werner is gifted with science and mechanics. He discovers a broken radio and fixes it; he and Jutta use the radio to listen to a French professor broadcasts about science.
Marie-Laure LeBlanc evacuates Paris with her father after he is entrusted with a valuable diamond named the Sea of Flames. They escape to her great-uncle Etienne’s house in Saint-Malo, where her father is arrested.