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Laura, Ashlyns School

Salt to the Sea

This is a heartbreaking tale of four teenagers in 1944, three of which are refugees and one is a sailor in the German navy. They all harbour massive secrets and, as Florian, Joana and Emilia trek to the port, Alfred prepares a ship to take citizens and military personnel away from the port.

I struggled slightly to get into the start of the book, but the chapter and writing style eases you into the plot. The story continues with the description of Operation Hannibal and the forgotten journey of the Wilhelm Gustloff. This tragic part left me in tears as the deep emotional connection I developed with each individual were changed.

Ruta Sepetys' novel is beautifully written and she has taken care of this delicate plot, not ruining the harrowing content with clumsy descriptions. She has mastered the art of inferring actions rather than explicitly stating them. Everyone has a secret in this book and these are revealed slowly along the different parts. I loved the short chapters with each different narrator. Although this is is a historical novel, it is approached like a normal fiction book, which allows a great connection to be established.

This is by far my favourite book in the shortlist so far, and probably so far this year. I would highly recommend Salt to the Sea to anyone.

Posted on: 17th May 2017 at 09:08 pm

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