If you haven't seen the television show "Gilmore Girls" you are missing on out on some fast talking, diner food eating, book reading goodness. This blog is about celebrating the book reading aspect, but you might also find additional references to "Gilmore Girls" or reading in general throughout. Some awesome soul compiled a list of 349 books read or featured on "Gilmore Girls", and this blog is my attempt to read all of them in two years. Join me for the good, the bad, the oh-my-gosh-i-don't-wanna-read-that, and more. For every book I complete, I will be donating books to children.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I started rereading (this is my third or fourth reading) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon last winter and am finally getting around to finishing it. It is one of my favorite books, so what took me so long? As often happens, life just gets in the way and complicates things. I love this book so much that when I am reading it, I want to be able to really sit with it and be fully engrossed in the language and the story, to feel that I am right there with the characters. It is not a book that I can read in small snippets here and there. I need long stretches of time to sit and read slowly as I linger over a hot cup of coffee. I purposely read slowly when I have a book like this because I love it so much and want to prolong the experience.
Shadow of the Wind
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:

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***Please note, some of the links above are affiliate links with Amazon.com. By purchasing through these links, I may receive a small commission. 

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