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Carolyn, Chobham Academy Book Group

Salt to the Sea

Like many readers, I hadn't heard of the WWII Wilhelm Gustloff disaster and reading "Salt to the Sea" was enlightening to say the least. In it, we get the perspective of three refugees from various backgrounds, making their way to a ship, the Wilhelm Gustloff, to escape the encroaching Russian army as Germany loses its grip on victory. A third perspective is of Alfred, a zealous but incompetent Nazi soldier working on the Gustloff. He is grotesquely unlikable, but I appreciated Sepetys' refusal to grant any sympathy to this even most menial perpetrator of genocide. There were some overdone tropes here, and quite an unlikely ending, but overall I enjoyed and learned from this book.

Posted on: 17th June 2017 at 04:20 pm

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