Kellie told me this was her favourite book in the world and that I absolutely had to read it so, over the course of many train journeys in February, I did. It’s a sizeable book, and took me more than a month to get through it, but I was glad I did!
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love
This book was a proper epic, winding story which rambled through the cemetery of forgotten books, the story of Julián Carax, of Daniel, of his father, of the book dealer, and all through the streets of 1940s Barcelona, over the course of nearly five hundred pages and several decades. It’s a winding, twisted up narrative, and we discover things with Daniel, or before him, or after him, all the while being introduced to a cast of characters and bit players until we finally see the revelations of what happened to Julián Carax in a satisfying and heart-rending dénouement.
It was a long book, but it is beautifully written and a lovely read.