The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

by

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Mrs. Sempere / Daniel’s Mother Character Analysis

Never named in the novel, Daniel’s mother dies when he is very young. Daniel loves and misses her, but is ashamed that he can’t remember much of her or share in Mr. Sempere’s life-altering grief. The loss of Mrs. Sempere, about which Daniel and his father often think but rarely speak, mirrors the national trauma of the Spanish Civil War, which is a constant but unspoken presence in everyday life. For Daniel personally, his mother’s elusive memory represents the seductive but irretrievable nature of the past.
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Mrs. Sempere / Daniel’s Mother Character Timeline in The Shadow of the Wind

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Sempere / Daniel’s Mother appears in The Shadow of the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...anyone of what he will see inside. When Daniel asks if he can tell his mother, Mr. Sempere says sadly that “we keep no secrets from her.” This is because Daniel’s... (full context)
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...in a small apartment which Daniel feels is still permeated by the sadness of his mother’s death. Daniel says he spent his entire childhood making “invisible friends” among the characters in... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...in question, Daniel wakes up at dawn “screaming” because he can no longer remember his mother’s face. After comforting him, Mr. Sempere says he has something to show him and leads... (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 5
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...of creating superlative literature or even of writing letters to “that unknowable” place where Daniel’s mother has gone. The shopkeeper tells Daniel and Mr. Sempere that the pen belonged to Victor... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...his father. He tells Mr. Sempere he wants to use it to write to his mother, and is unconvinced when his father insists that his mother isn’t lonely because she’s with... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...only says that after a war “it’s best to leave things alone,” and that Daniel’s mother made him promise never to talk about the war with Daniel. (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 6
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...and he misses the “intimacy” and “small world” they shared in the years after his mother’s death. He concludes that his father is “hurt” that he spends so much time in... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 26
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
...cryptically that “few things are more deceptive than memories.” Fermín says he only remembers his mother’s smell, while Daniel can’t recollect anything about his own mother. Fermín suggests that Daniel’s quest... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 34
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...fire. The mildewy smell makes him recall the damp morning on which they buried his mother. Daniel dispels the image and descends. After turning on a small boiler, he hears footsteps... (full context)
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 4
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...Mr. Sempere and Nuria are crying over his grave. Before he faints, he remembers his mother’s face with a clarity he hasn’t felt for many years, as if the memory “had... (full context)