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Johan K, Glossopdale Community College

Salt to the Sea

'Salt to the Sea' is an extraordinary novel, and tells of a covered-up story during World War Two. The story is told by 4 different people who each have different situations but come together as they board the Wilhelm Gustloff.

Florian has to be my favourite character because of how he deals with difficult situations, but also because at first he was incredibly controversial, but later on, he becomes one of the most popular characters in the story. Alfred is the character that you feel the most sorry for because he has grown up into an adult’s job, but in his head, he is extremely childish. He is more of an intellectual than a brave soul – he isn’t the type of person that the German Navy want to recruit. Therefore, when the story is told in his perspective, there is a lot of complex vocabulary, and he ponders the consequences of each of his actions before he does them. He is a very proud person, because he shows off all the time in his imaginary letter to his girlfriend.

The use of repetition is one of the most significant techniques that the writer uses. At the start of the novel, each character says that a feeling is a hunter: but obviously at the beginning, you do not know why they say each thing. However, at the end, the writer repeats what they said at the beginning, but can fully explain why they came to think in this manner.
The writer must have done a hugely significant amount of research, because the story line is one that could be extremely popular in many other places, but you have never heard about it, because it was probably covered up by the German government as a method of propaganda.
The coldness and climates is extremely significant for me, as a reader, because I usually windsurf during the winter. I usually find the water extremely cold… and I am in a wetsuit to keep me warm! I therefore know why it wouldn’t be an option to try to swim away, but also how coldness makes you feel a lot more pessimistic.

I would give this book five out of five stars, however, the emotions aren’t shown as well as they are in “The Bone Sparrow” which must surely win the Carnegie medal this year. However, the story line of this book makes it one of the most heart-warming stories that you could read.

Posted on: 17th May 2017 at 11:12 am

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