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Eliza, St Helen and St Katharine

Salt to the Sea

First Published in 2016, Salt to the Sea is a book set in WWII with four main characters, Joana, Emilia, Florian and Alfred.

Joana is a young Lithuanian woman fleeing from her country with her family to get away from the Soviet Russian forces. She is a nurse and as the story progresses she develops a romantic relationship with the young man Florian.

Emilia. A 15 year old Polish girl who was sadly a victim of rape and abuse and is pregnant, but is still determined to reach the Wilhelm Gustloff boat which will lead her to safety before it’s too late.

Florian is a young Prussian who is carrying a very valuable piece of artwork and is trying to get to the Wilhelm Gustloff as quickly as he can without getting caught. He starts to develop a romantic relationship with Joana.

And Alfred. He is an eager German who is a proud supporter of Adolf Hitler. He sometimes composes letters in his head to send to a girl called Hannelore back in his home town but is too scared to put pen to paper.

The book talks about their perspectives of life during the war and each character has a small secret of their own. The author knows how to explain the book from different views – although sometimes a little confusing – while adding other characters in on the way. The author Ruta Sepetys was definitely not afraid of explaining the horrors faced during the war and the experiences people faced. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff which was carrying most people escaping the Russian army was at the heart of the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes or doesn’t mind tragic drama and a lot sadness in a book. Mainly 12 – 14/15 years old.

Posted on: 25th April 2017 at 08:54 am

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