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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 harbouring 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 rivalled 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.

Posted on: 28th April 2017 at 12:10 pm

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