The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

About the book

It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from THE SHADOW OF THE WIND have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel’s father at Sempere & Sons. Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him.

Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel’s surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words ‘To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future’. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal and the return of a deadly rival …

 

Reviewed by Wallington Village

Well drawn characters. Good use of language. The dialogue was clear with the characters telling the story which galloped

star rating – none provided

 

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The Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

About the book

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is a labyrinthine library of obscure & forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. A man brings his 10-year-old son to the library & allows him to choose one book to keep. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find.

Reviewed by Sherfield English Page Turners

The group found this book thoroughly entertaining and absorbing involving mystery, tragedy, magic, human and first rate story telling. Based in Barcelona in the post war years it gives a real glimpse of life in post civil war Spain.

Star rating: ****

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Love in a time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

About the book

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

Reviewed by Goodworth Clatford WI Reading Group:

Excellent. Well researched. Succinct use of language. Some thought too dense. Perceptive description of a long marriage and other relationship.

Star rating: *** to ****

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As I walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee

About the book

Abandoning the Cotswolds village that raised him, the young Laurie Lee walks to London. There he makes a living labouring and playing the violin. But, deciding to travel further a field and knowing only the Spanish phrase for ‘Will you please give me a glass of water?’, he heads for Spain. With just a blanket to sleep under and his trusty violin, he spends a year crossing Spain, from Vigo in the north to the southern coast. Only the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War puts an end to his extraordinary peregrinations .

Reviewed by Solent U3A

Very enjoyable reading. A good adventure undertaken by an inexperienced person who learnt a lot from his journey.
Star rating: ***

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