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Megan, Chobham Academy Book Group

Salt to the Sea

When I first started reading this book, I had no idea about the huge emotional impact it would eventually bring on me.
I read the first few chapters, taking in the story with a slight hesitance. Personally, I was apprehensive to read this book, despite the number of people who had raved about it beforehand. The reason being was that any historic works of fiction that I had read before, tended to be fairly dreary or slightly boring. Salt to the Sea has been the first historic book, which I have genuinely been sucked into the storyline, and struggled to put down.

The characterisation was pure excellence, and within chapters, I was dragged into the four young people's worlds. In each character, the reader is given a chance to experience a different part of the Wilhelm Gustloff, which is why the four-part narrative worked so well.

The book does touch on some subjects which could possibly upset some readers, which is why I particularly wanted to talk about Ruta's actual writing style. She went into so much detail, in all the different events. However, in the main climax of the plot, which is particularly harrowing, Ruta only went into the amount of detail which was appropriate for the actual audience. If she had gone into any more detail, I fear that it would have become a depiction of gore, rather than the respectful yet urgent piece that it is.
Personally, I think Salt to the Sea deserves all the praise that it gets, which is why I feel that it deserves the medal this year.

Posted on: 18th June 2017 at 07:17 pm

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