'Fifteen years on, the remembrance of that day has returned to me. I have seen that boy wandering through the mist of the railway station, and the name of Marina has flared up again like a fresh wound. We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine...'
In May 1980, 15-year-old Óscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts...
His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father German Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Óscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.
When Óscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón was born in Barcelona and is the author of seven novels including THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. He is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than 40 languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.
Fifteen-year-old Oscar is leading a lonely life at his Barcelona boarding school in the late 1970s. While exploring an older part of the city, he meets Marina, a girl near his age who lives austerely with her father, who is a painter, in a rundown house. The teens get caught up in a mystery that began just after WWII. Inventors, aristocrats, opera singers, police inspectors, and millionaires were all involved in dark, sinister crimes, and the aftereffects of these events reverberate through the years and place Marina and Oscar in great danger. Ruiz Zaf n tells his gothic tale with a great deal of exposition interspersed with sudden bursts of action. Weyman handles this expertly, narrating with great emotion, making the many minutes of description interesting to the listener when they could easily become tedious. He also plays around with a wide variety of accents: Spanish, Russian, German, and American characters are all subtly but distinctly portrayed, while narration is performed in dulcet English tones. Many characters are elderly and are given creaky voices that wobble in pitch, but it's never cartoonish. This is a sophisticated performance of an atmospheric, complex mystery. A Little, Brown hardcover.