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Anna, St Helen and St Katharine

Salt to the Sea

I thought the plot of this book was amazing. I loved how I went from having to flick back to see which one Joana was to them almost becoming part of me, and instantly recognising who they were from the attitude of the first few words they said. This is one of the few books where now a word-Opi-now makes me cry. Actual tears. I have always thought of WW2 so unfairly, with our side being right and the Nazis being wrong. But now, when I think we honour men who went and fought in Germany and France, I can't help seeing the Wilhelm Gustloff in my mind. Each one of those German soldiers was fighting, like Alfred, for a homeland just as the British soldiers did. And then there were people caught up in it, like Emilia, persecuted for being Polish, experiencing a traumatic experience like many others. I never thought what it would be like to be them, stuck in between a rock and a hard place
I think it was really clever how it was told from four different perspectives, as it really let me get inside the characters mind and the whole 'show and tell' aspect where they slowly reveal each secret for each character. I also thought that the links back to how they each had a 'hunter,' shame, fate, fear and guilt, were really clever.
My favourite character was either Joana, because I admired her amazing mental strength, and how she always put others in front of herself whilst she was nursing, or the shoe poet, because he reminds me of my grandpa, always observant and trying to help where he can, and being so, so kind. The only character I disliked was of course, Alfred. His 'good German' pomposity made me feel sick. However, luckily, I believe this was intentional. I would really recommend it to anyone-as long as you are prepared to cry!
Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Posted on: 27th April 2017 at 01:23 pm

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