This book is incredibly descriptive but vague to start with on describing the nuts and bolts of the story. A playground incident where Paul is hurt by a stone in a snowball leads you into the home of the main characters – brother and sister Paul and Elisabeth – but it is far from clear.
What adds to the confusion is the idea that Paul and his sister are masters at something they term ‘The Game’ which from the descriptions seems to refer to the ability to roam at will around a very fertile imagination.
Paul’s father has dies and his mother is bed-ridden waiting for the grim reaper to arrive. The children are looked on with some pity and protection from the doctor who sees the mother but they sense that the future does not hold much in store for them.
The immediate future for Paul is to stay off school while he recovers from his injuries and that is where chapter one ends leaving the reader full of detailed images of Paris in the snow but none the wiser to quite what the future holds for the relationship of Paul and Elisabeth.