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Aisha, Manchester Academy

Salt to the Sea

This book is Ruta Sepetys' historical novel SALT TO THE SEA.It follows four young adults harboring deep secrets. Their fates intertwine the winter of 1945 on the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff, filled five times over capacity with mostly civilians as it attempts to flee the advancing Red Army on the Baltic Sea. Aryan-looking Lithuanian nurse Joana is around 21 and leads a motley group of refugees on foot; Polish 15-year-old Emilia only wants to stay away from the prying eyes of predatory soldiers; Prussian 19-year-old Florian is an art student and forger with a dangerous mission; and Alfred is the outlier, a young German soldier working on the Wilhelm Gustloff. After Florian saves Emilia's life, the two encounter Joana's group, and through a series of close calls and desperate situations they end up traveling together, protecting one another, and hoping the Wilhelm Gustloff will save them from the evils of the Russian Army, whose cruelty rivaled that of the Nazis.
This powerful, gorgeously written exploration of a little-known WWII tragedy proves why with only three books, Ruta Sepetys has emerged as a preeminent historical novelist in young adult literature. Salt to the Sea, which includes meticulously detailed author's notes, maps, and research and sources, is an ideal blend of historical facts, riveting drama, compelling characters, and suspense. Similar to when you watch Titanic for the first time, you know the ship is doomed but not exactly how the fictional characters will fare within that tragedy. In Joana, Emilia, and Florian, Sepetys has created three diverse characters who ultimately bond and care for each other. Once again, Sepetys adds touches of humor and romance to her history, and it works beautifully.
This is truly a book worthwhile reading as it is a personal favorite.

Posted on: 27th April 2017 at 05:35 pm

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