My Old Man and the Sea

Ten years ago, I shared a book with my father.

Now, I get photos like this from him as he explores Catalunya and the Ancient Sea.


Eleven years ago, when my family was preparing for an unsuccessful move to Barcelona for my work, a colleague recommended that I read a recently published novel, The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, a Barcelona native. An exciting Gothic tale and fictional memory of Barcelona struggling to recover its identity after the Spanish civil war, Zafon sketches with his prose, the magic and attraction of Barcelona’s history. I enjoyed it so much, I recommended it to my father. He ate it up!

Zafon’s first person narrative, the voice of the protagonist Daniel Sempere was for me the inspiration to write my first novel The Deceit of Riches in the first person, instead of writing as an omniscient narrator. The ability to describe emotions of fear, doubt and elation come over much more authentically from a character who has endeared herself already to a reader.

I had the great privilege to meet Mr. Zafon at a book signing of his last year and give him a copy of my own novel. I thanked him for the profound effect his writing has had on me and my father, helping us to build and expand our common interests as the demand of the modern world spread extended families around the globe.

You might remember reading about the first time I took my Dad to Catalunya from the earlier blog post: What Happens in Barcelona… If so, you’ll know that a follow-up visit was inevitable. He has been back three times in the last four years now with my mother, and they always come to visit us in Holland before returning to the USA.

If you’ve read a good book lately, one that captures your imagination and makes you restless to go see and experience a place, a culture or a history up close, then share it!     It might change somebody’s life for the better…and enrich your own!



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