#YAinTranslation: MARINA by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The first title for the #YAinTranslation online book group has been decided! Having won 40% of the vote, our first read will be Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of Shadow of the Wind.


In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts. . . .

His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

If that sounds up your street, feel free to join in! Join us on Twitter on Sunday 1st September at 8pm BST / 9pm CET to discuss the book using the hashtag #YAinTranslation.

The point of the group is to read and promote books that are available in English translation, but you’re very welcome to read it in the original Spanish or any other language, too. It’s also available in English on Audible for those who prefer audiobooks.

Happy reading!