Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind Book Review

the-shadow-of-the-wind
A best seller in Spain and taking place in Barcelona, this novel was one of two highly recommended reads (by locals) for our own family’s trip to the beautiful city on the Mediterranean. The Shadow of the Wind has it all-murder, mystery, romance, and adventure.  The main protagonist, Daniel, is 10 years old at the start of the story, when his father introduces him to a secret place they call the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  He is drawn to a novel on the shelf written by a virtually unknown author, though for a few this book is considered one of the best ever written. Daniel begins to investigate the story behind the author (Julian Carax) and finds more than he bargained for. Someone has been trying to burn every book by Carax, including the rare novel he owns. As the mystery unravels, his safety is at risk as he encounters a threatening and mysterious masked man who wants the book.  The reader is taken through an epic tale of past relationships and family secrets. Just when you think the mystery is becoming clearer, deeper secrets are revealed. Twists and turns, excitement and intrigue, keep the pages turning.

I loved Zafon’s style. It reminded me of what I like about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writing (Love in the Time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Of Love and Other Demons): poetic and romantic storytelling, but in a more modern style and without the magical realism, which some dislike. The premise of the story is unique and creative, the writing beautiful and engaging. I think I have a soft spot for stories that cover a lifetime and tell the story of not just one character, but others as well, beautifully interweaving their stories.  A must read…5 stars!


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