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Peter, Chobham Academy Book Group

Salt to the Sea

This book follows a group of young people of different nationalities through the retreat through East Prussia and the last voyage of the 'Wilhelm Gustloff' in early 1945. The story is narrated through the eyes of four of them using short chapters which keeps the momentum going. It also means that we get to see the characters as they see themselves as well as from the outside as layers are peeled away. The subject matter is often very harrowing, the author does not shy away from conveying the horrors of war or the traumatic experiences of the characters in their back stories. Of course, anyone who knows about what happened to the 'Wilhelm Gustloff' knows that when the people they have come to care about believe themselves to be on the brink of safety, the worst is yet to come. However, in spite of this, there are glimmers of hope and optimism at the end of the book. The whole story is gripping from start to finish, the more you learn about the characters and your hopes for them make for a real emotional roller coaster of a ride.

I would give this 5 stars.

People who have read this might be interested in reading 'Crabwalk' by Gunter Grass which deals with the same period in history.

Posted on: 15th May 2017 at 01:47 pm

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