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Lucy, Chobham Academy Book Group

Salt to the Sea

I had to read this book twice it was so beautiful. I am not normally a fan of split character books yet the characters of Salt to the Sea were so intricately sculpted that I enjoyed each quarter. Where other books in the shortlist focus on language, here the story and lyricism of the book were fantastic - each character had their story yet were perfectly entwined. Alfred's ironic chapters captured the stereotypical German soldier yet showed his weakness through his relationship with Florian and Joana and 'Hannelore'. Emilia's character was written with such intricate meaning, you laughed and cried with her. Joana was beautiful. Not only in description but in heart, Sepetys was able to capture sorrow as well as the role she played in caring for, physically and mentally, those under her wing. Lastly, Florian - 'The knight', probably the weakest characterisation as I was not able to truly understand the meaning of his 'mission'. Yet, his place as the Knight and protector of Emilia was beautiful. My favourite character was the Shoe Poet. He deserves a story of his own!! The book was not one of attraction but love in a desperate, life or death situation, and I loved that. I especially loved how Sepetys managed to capture the powerful ending. Writing stories based on historical events can sometimes lead to disregard of others lives and culture yet Sepetys bought tears to my eyes with the way she approached the climax of the book. The ending was simple but effective, concluding a story with such subtlety and beauty. I really enjoyed this book for the story it created. It shows the different side of WW2, something I believe is really important. Especially in this war-torn world, we are living in, I believe that a book like this is really important for Young Adults to see that England/the Allies are not always the worse ones off. Sepetys shows that those in Germany were normal people in their desperate state. It really was a good read and a really important read.

Posted on: 31st March 2017 at 08:10 pm

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