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Remy, TallisCarnegie2014

Salt to the Sea

At this point Salt to the sea has to be my favourite book. Although the story is not entirely true it sheds light on the most deadly disaster in maritime history, the Wilhelm Gustloff took the lives of thousands of innocent refugees, merely seeking refuge from the war. The books chapters are extremely short, most will be one to two pages long with a few exceptions, i was expecting to get confused by this and become mixed up with character however, the book gave each character such individual personalities and battles to fight that even without the names at the top of the page i could assume who's viewpoint the story was occurring from. The main characters are: Joana, a very academic nurse who is liked by her comrades for helping them in times of difficulty; Florian, a young man who has a past in restoration works for the amber room (the eighth wonder of the world, a room in which all the art the nazis stole was kept, only Eric Koch a murderous, high in command nazi officer knew of its whereabouts), he is on a mission to take revenge on his previous employer Dr Lange, Eric Koch and even Hitler himself, Florian takes a fancy to Joana; Emilia, a teenager who is riddled with guilt after horrible things happened in her home town at the hands of the Russian soldiers, she is pregnant and is saved early in the book by Florian whom she fondly calls 'the knight'. The final character is Alfred, a delusional sailor who constantly is noting down his remarkable achievements (of which he has none) and sending messages to his supposed lover named 'Hannelore' yet at the end we find out the truth of their relationship, he is completely loyal to Hitler, even making up a tune to which he recites all of Hitlers enemies such as Jews and Yugoslavs, later on in the book he is tricked by Florian who tells him that he is on a secret mission, and if Alfred aids him then he shall receive a medal of honour. There are also secondary characters who we meet along the way such as: Ingrid, Eva, Klaus and the shoe poet(my personal favourite character in the entire book), some of these characters meet a sad fate on both the journey to the Wilhelm Gustloff and the voyage on the Wilhelm Gustloff, the book truly makes you feel empathy for the characters who have all been affected by the war in horrible ways, i truly felt sorry for them and i still cannot comprehend that poor, innocent civilians had to live through such devastating and gruelling times. The author can set a scene well, Ruta Sepeteys is able to make you feel as though you are in the story, the sheer amount of terror which occurred during tee torpedoes attack is so well written that you can imagine the scene up to the last detail in your head. World war two was a horrible time period and throughout the story you learn more about it, examples of the horrible things families did to not give up to the Russians and die an honourable death. Additionally the group that the main cast travels in is so diverse that you can get an opinion from everybody, the grief they feel when somebody dies and the horror when they see how villages and towns have succumbed to the war. As i have said this is my favourite book from the listing and i believe it deserves to win the carnegie medal for the writer's fantastic description of the time period and the moving story which I'm sure i will remember. I hope that this author releases another book because after finishing it I wanted more!. Definitely a must read for everybody, no matter what kind of genre of books you enjoy.

Posted on: 13th June 2017 at 10:05 pm

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