Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I never usually do re-reads but this book was sitting on my shelf staring at me for too long saying "You know you loved me...try me again!". I had borrowed Shadow of the Wind from a friend of mine for my husband to read. He never got around to reading it but I couldn't just give it back to her without giving it another read myself. It was great the first time and even better the second time around.

The story is set in Barcelona and takes place during the 1940's and 1950's. It ıs very hard to describe this book but I would call it a Gothic murder mystery. The book is about a young boy named Daniel, whose father owns a bookstore. Daniels mother dies when he is very young, so it is Daniel and his father all alone. When Daniel is 10, his father takes him to one of the most mysterious and wonderful places in Barcelona - The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This is a place books go when they have no other place. They are protected and cared for until it is time for someone to adopt them. Daniel is allowed to take on book that he will care for his entire life - he picks the novel (or the novel picks him) Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax and it changes his life forever.

I won't tell you anymore because there is so much to it and I don't want to give away any of this fantastic book. One of my favorite characters in any novel is in this book - Fermin Romero de Torres. He is the wildly eccentric former spy who Daniel meets living on the streets begging. Daniel gets him a job at his fathers shop and Fermin's life changes. He is hilarious and has some great lines. One of them being, "Daniel, you are as white as a nuns buttock!". It made me laugh - I can picture this skinny character with his pencil thin mustache and Spanish dress perfectly in my head.

This is a definite 5 star book for me. I am sure I will being reading it a few more times in my lifetime!

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