The shadow of the wind
In 1945 the young protagonist, Daniel, lives with his father, owner of a modest used book store, in Barcelona. Daniel, who is also the main narrative voice of the novel, wakes up at the dawn of his eleventh anguished birthday because he no longer remembers the face of his mother, who died at the end of the war due to cholera. The same morning, his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books: a labyrinthine and gigantic library, where thousands of volumes that have been stolen from oblivion are kept.
Here he invites him, according to tradition, to adopt one of the books and to promise to take care of it for life. The choice falls on The shadow of the wind by the unknown author Julián Carax. Daniel is kidnapped and reads the book in one breath. His enthusiasm led him to look for other books by the same author, but he discovered that the one in his possession could be the only surviving copy of all the works of Carax. In addition, Daniel will be followed by a mysterious man, with macabre features who has been looking for Carax’s writings for years to set them on fire. He will call himself Laín Coubert, a character also present in the books of the writer, where he represents the Devil himself.
All Daniel’s events and research are intertwined with the history of the decadent Barcelona, wounded by the civil war and Francoism, often depicted in dark tones and in pouring rain. Daniel begins to investigate the mystery by unearthing stories of destroyed families, fatal and forbidden loves, difficult childhoods, unconditional friendship, absolute loyalty and murderous madness. A research that lasts a decade and that accompanies Daniel in his growth, until he becomes a man. This research highlights a whole series of events and circumstances similar to those of Carax’s life, up to discovering the unspeakable secret.
„Among the messages I think the author wanted to communicate the value of friendship, love and above all he wants to show us that people can change, but will always carry old grudges.“
The message that the author wants to communicate with the shadow of the wind is that sometimes we are attracted to what we do not know for no reason, on a whim we try to discover something more, drawing many times positive elements from it. We must never stop looking, and we must nourish our desire to know.