what an amazing book. I haven't read a decent historical romance for a while. This, i thought, was a soup of Les Meserables, Count of Monte Cristo, Phantom of the Opera and greek tragedy all in one. The story is about a boy who finds a rare book in the 'cemetery of books' and goes off trying to find the author in the process becoming part of the gruesome love story. The story is set in Barcelona with Paris for scenery change - equally beautiful and romantic places. Every thing is thought through... every name ...
i loved that Daniels life repeats the pattern of Julians and loved that it was able to break the curse.
i thought that lives were easily lost, but books set during the time of war often use that to their advantage. The uncertain times give the right tone of wariness and fatality.
i didn't mind the coincidences... life is full of them.
characters were appealing and interesting but not overly simplistic. Julian's father, for instance, could have continued being the loathesome man he was through out the book but he was give a chance to redeem himself. Sofia although not explained finally seemed to find her proper place in life. Relationship between Nuria and her father and her husband were also interesting and appealing. They were not easy or pleasant but based on mutual humility.
"like all old cities, Barcelona is a sum of its ruins. THe great glories so many people are prod of - plaaces, factories, and monuments, the emblems with which we identify - are nothing more than relics of an extinguished civilization." p 185 location 2831
"books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you', answered Julian." p 193 location 2948
"Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen."
"Who said taht? Seneca?'
'No. Barulio Recolons - he runs a pork bucher's on Calle Avignon and has a great talent for both making sausages and composing witty aphorisms." p276 location 4221
"I observed him cautiously while Bernarda snored like a baby calf.
'Little angel,' Whispered Fermine, entranced." p 278 location 4257
"Making money isnt' hard in itself,' he complained. 'What's hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting your life to." p347 location 5325
"it was my 24th birthday, and I knew that the best part of my life was lready behind me." p347 location 5314
"most of us have the good or bad fortune to seeing our lives fall apart so slowly we barely notice it." p 391 location 5991
"don't laugh, it's people lie her who make this louse world a place worth visiting."
"whores?" 'No. We're all whores, sooner or later. I mean good-hearted people. And don't look at me like that. Weddings turn me to jelly." p441 location 6749