Sunday, October 28, 2012
RIP VII Read #12: The Midnight Palace
When I met Carlos Ruiz Zafón this summer, I told him that I thought his books were best when read in the fall and that I was saving one especially for this season. It seemed to be an interesting thought for him so he signed my copy of The Prisoner of Heaven with "For Kristen, a reader of the fall". And really, it's true that I am a reader of the fall. It's the only season where I am deliberate in my book choices, the only time that I will set aside a book that I am dying to read for months and months just to have the right atmosphere while I read it. So, it was during read-a-thon this year, on a bleak and rainy day where I was huddled up near the fireplace, that I finally got to dive into The Midnight Palace. It was my read at the end of the night and I got through about a third of it before giving in to my tired eyes and body. And yet, the day after read-a-thon, I sat down for another reading session and finished the book! This book was not as terrifying as The Prince of Mist but it was compelling and sad and definitely shocking in parts.
I didn't realize until right before I started reading that the book was set in India. That's a change from other CRZ novels but I thought his Calcutta was as lively as his Barcelona always is. And the young adults in this story--residents of St. Patrick's Orphanage--who are on the cusp of being released into the world, are interesting characters who show remarkable bravery and friendship throughout the story. And simply, this is the story of a past which has literally come to haunt two children, sixteen years after they were orphaned.
This was indeed a perfect fall read, a ghost story with heat that made me forget the chilly gloom outside. But now I'm in the sad position again that I have no unread CRZ books in the house -- until April when The Watcher in the Shadows is released! And yes, I will buy it as soon as it comes out but will probably wait until fall to read it.
Admitting a penchant for spooks,