Feb 20, 2013

"Marina" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Title: Marina

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Language Edition: Macedonian

My rating: 4.5 of 5

(Book read from my own copy from February 14-16, 2013.)


In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drei suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts. It all began the previous autumn when, while exploring the dilapidated grounds of what seemed to be an abandoned house filled with portraits, he inadvertently stole a gold pocket watch. Thus begins Oscar's friendship with Marina and her father Herman Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to the gardens of the nearby cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m., a coach drives up to the cemetery and a woman with her face shrouded, wearing gloves, and holding a single rose is helped down from the coach and walks over to a nameless gravestone, where she sets down the flower, pauses for a moment, and then returns to the coach. The gravestone bears no marking but the outline of a strange-looking butterfly with open wings. On one of their subsequent walks Oscar and Marina spot the same woman and determine to follow her. Thereupon begins their journey into the woman's past, and that of the object of her devotion. It is a journey that takes them to the heights of a forgotten, postwar-Barcelona society, of now aged or departed aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and into the depths of the city's mysterious underground of labyrinthine sewers, corrupt policemen, beggars' hovels, and criminal depravity.

My Thoughts on the Book:

 Ok, so Marina is actually the first Carlos Ruiz Zafón book that was published here years ago, even before The Shadow of the Wind, and that's when I found out about Zafón and his books, I just kept hearing what an amazing author he is, and although I bought his books, I didn't read them, no idea why. I just kept postponing... But, I decided to change that finally, so I read his Mist trilogy last year, and now I finally picked up Marina, before delving into the Cemetery of Forgotten Books - I always save the best for last ;) 
Anyway, what did I thought of Marina? I loved it, of course! Having already read Zafón's Mist trilogy, I knew what to expect from him.  And Marina is a lovely historical YA mystery that will take you on a suspenseful & eerie adventure through the Barcelona streets. Once again the author captured me with his words, and didn't let me go. It felt like I was there beside Marina & Oscar. If I wasn't too busy then, I probably would've read it in only a few hours, but unfortunately life got in the way ;)

The story is well described in the description above, so I won't go into details about it. As for the characters, they were all really sweet & likable. The mystery was pretty good, the pacing was perfect, the writing style was also amazing, and the ending was great, too. Really sad, but great.    

So, do I recommend Marina? Yes. If you're a fan of good historical mysteries with lovely setting & a little heartbreak, then this is a book for you!



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