Zafron, Carlos Ruiz. Shadow of the Wind. Translated by Lucia Greives.
Reason read: the pilgrimage to El Rocio occurs in July.
When we first meet Daniel Sempre he is ten years old and his father has just introduced him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel has been granted the choice of one book as a birthday present. By chance, he chooses Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. So the mystery begins. Daniel is no ordinary boy. When he was very young he coveted a fountain pen reputed to once belong to Jules Verne. His father would accompany him weekly to “visit” this pen in a storefront window. [As an aside, what ten year old would utter, “all the evidence to the contrary”? Had he been reading Sherlock Holmes?] Moving on from the pen, Daniel becomes fascinated with writer Julian Carax and the mystery surrounding him. From there, the mystery deepens to the point of harrowing. Shadows become dangerous. Secrets become lethal. It’s a story within a story best savored slow.
Quotes I just had to quote, “A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept” and “To truly hate is an art one learns with time.”
As an aside, when I read the quote, “Childhood devotions make unfaithful and fickle lovers” I was reminded of Charles Causely’s poem, “Rhyme of Innocence and Experience” when he wrote, “Where are all the other girls and boys and why have you brought me children’s toys?”
Author fact: Sadly, Carlos Ruiz Zafron just passed away, reportedly from colon cancer.
Book trivia: Shadow of the Wind was an international bestseller and translated into dozens of languages.
Nancy said: the only thing Pearl said about Shadow of the Wind is that it offered a “vivid picture” of Spain.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Spain.” (p 220). How simple can you get?