Review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

Beautifully imagined, written and translated The Shadow of the Wind is a novel that will stay with me for a long time. It opens in Barcelona in 1945 with a boy being taken to visit the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he is tasked with 'adopting' one of the books. He chooses The Shadow of the Wind, an obscure and long forgotten novel by Julian Carax a controversial Spanish author. Over the next few years, as Daniel moves through adolescence, his position as the caretaker of the book leads him through a surprising number of adventures as he discovers the history of the book and struggles to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, all whilst living in a country that is still struggling in the aftermath of civil war.

The Shadow of the Wind is the perfect read for those who love books. I had never heard of this one until a friend pointed it out whilst we were searching through some titles at a well-known Adelaide secondhand bookshop. Once I opened the cover, I found myself mesmerised by the prologue and the concept of there being a cemetery of forgotten books. From there, I was enchanted by the story and the depictions of Barcelona, the latter of which stirred up an odd sense of nostalgia. (As a child, I learned to speak Spanish at school and our neighbours were Spanish speakers, and in many ways, reading a novel set in Spain brought back many forgotten things from my childhood.) 

Highly recommended.

This book was read as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2015

Category: Set in a country that starts with 'S' 

Progress 7/12


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