15-year-old, Oscar Drai has vanished from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona for seven days and nights. The year was 1980.
Before his disappearance, Oscar meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina, full of mystery, “takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month.”
There they see a woman dressed in all black holding a rose on a grave marked by a black butterfly. Curious, Marina and Oscar follow this woman not realizing that they are stepping into dangerous mystery.
This would be the first book I read by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I wasn’t too impressed with this book.
Oscar and Marina lack a spark in their personality. Both of them have a huge mystery surrounding them. The author explains Marina’s story and I am satisfied but even when things are explained I didn’t feel as if I knew Marina. Oscar has no back-story. You know nothing about his parents or why he is far from home.
I also didn’t like the “mystery” or the “creepiness” of this novel. It wasn’t done with much passion and it lacked interest. I wasn’t interested in the woman or the unknown symbol. It felt that Oscar and Marina was only interested because it gave nosy kids something to do.
However, despite this what I really loved about this book was the details (shocking right?). It was beautiful the way the author describe the scenery, the history and the culture. This was what kept me into the book. If the author gave more time and detail into character development, I would have fell head over heels in love with this book.
Overall, I was expecting something better.