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Charlie, BGS Shadowers

Salt to the Sea

This was brilliant! My favourite character was Florian, he just stood out as the good guy, especially as a stark contrast to the vain, from our point of view, evil and cowardly Alfred. It was sometimes hard to understand the latter as a person because everybody sees him as a weirdo, and weak, whereas he describes himself in his mental letters to Hannelore, as a hero and the idea of a master race and serving Hitler resonates with him very strongly. I hoped that everybody would survive. Sadly, my other favourite character, the shoe poet, didn't make it, and neither did Emilia. This is a shame, because they are the bravest characters, and now Klaus has lost two grandparents in the war. Luckily, the others make it, and they all live happily ever after. I don't quite understand the letter at the end, but it does explain in a little more detail what happened to Halinka and Klaus.
I also like the lines where the characters talk about the feelings and emotions that they experience, or fear, the most. For Joana, the fact that she fled Lithuania makes her feel guilty because she escaped but everybody else perished. So she writes, "Guilt is a hunter". Florian, much like Alfred sees himself at later points of the book, is a thinker, and says, "Fate is a hunter". This also means that he considers himself to have bad luck. Emilia says, "Shame is a hunter", because she is pregnant, but not to August, as she reveals later on. Emilia is hiding at that point, but is ashamed of herself for it, despite her rational fear of the Russian soldiers. Finally, Alfred speaks of fear, but then goes on to contradict himself in another mental letter to Hannelore. But most of what he says are lies, and Alfred is actually scared of war, but wants to serve Hitler. Alfred is a weak character, very gullible, and with ideas of the Great War, and the many heroes that came out of that, and Hitler's radical plans of invasion and control.

Posted on: 22nd May 2017 at 04:18 pm

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