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I often choose a book just because of its cover, but The Shadow of the Wind chose me because as I read the jacket blurb and learned that it was set in Barcelona I had to have it and I’m so glad I did. I hadn’t long returned for a few days in this arty city when I happened upon this novel.

The book is set after the Civil and Second World War when atmosphere of late forties Barca is somewhat austere. There are many mentions and references to areas I had explored in 2014 such as the Boqueria Market, Las Ramblas and Monjuic. ….but best of all he refers to a meeting which takes place in the Placa de Santa Felipe Neri, a beautiful square in the Gothic area where I stayed. The square is tiny and beautiful, centred on a fountain. The poc marked walls are reminders of a bomb which killed several children during the civil war and for me I will forever associate it with some haunting Spanish violin music where one evening I watched and listened to a puppet playing violin at the clever and creative hands of its mistress, clearly a talented musician with a canny and unusual gift of entertainment.

But to return to the book, it’s a mystery surrounding an author and one of his books found in the cemetery of forgotten books a veritable treasure trove of the written and published words in a book shop not far from where the hero or should I say main character resides, we grow with this young boy who fast reaches adolescence and his obsession with this author and book leads him to don the persona of Sherlock.

Quite a big read, educational and entertaining at the same time.

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