|The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon|
I adore Daniel, the main character, his father, Fermin, and all the many other characters while despising a couple as well. A few characters redeem themselves by the end of the story, but the villain stays a villain. The interesting aspect, however, is that the character that seems to be the true villain may not be quite what he seems.
The Shadow of the Wind takes place in Barcelona, Spain with brief forays to Paris, France. The time is the 1950s and Spain is in political upheaval. The rule of Franco and the turmoil experienced by the people of Spain is a backdrop to the rest of the story but often sets the tone. The weather also plays a role, often creating an almost mystical feel to what is otherwise a very realistic story. In addition, the architecture, although not often described with detail sets up several scenes throughout the book. These details combined with a motherless main character, a search for literature that speaks to one's soul, and the interconnected relationships that span two or three generations and criss-cross throughout two story lines that are fully interdependent creates a world that I love immersing myself into.
The story is at once a love story and a tragedy. The lovers include men and women, mismatched pairs, a boy, his father, and others with literature, and forbidden loves as well. Overall the story is haunted by doomed love, relationships that can't be, the desire to erase the past when others hope to bring it to life.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is quite simply haunting and beautiful.
Here is a brief video of the author comparing this book with his equally masterful The Angel's Game:
You may also enjoy these reviews:
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
- My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
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