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Kirsty, Chobham Academy Book Group

Salt to the Sea

I found this book very hard to get into due to the fact that there were four different perspectives, and you have to work out who is who and where they are without having anything to work with. This made it very hard to connect with the characters for me and it meant that parts which were supposed to be emotional were more confusing to me. There were some deaths, but due to the fact that I had not connected with the characters beforehand I wasn't particularly bothered by it. The book itself is really rather good, but I feel that it would work much better if there were fewer points of view. I found the ending rather disappointing and not entirely conclusive.

The historical element to the book added little to it, though it was interesting to get a bit of insight into what was going on on the Nazi side of things when so many historical books focus on the Allied powers. Some things, even at the end of the book, still seemed a little unclear to me, as the author did not tie up all of the loose ends.

The characters were rather interesting, with backstories that I wish had been gone into with more detail. Emilia, for example, seemed like a very interesting character but little of her past is mentioned, other than when she was sent to live with another family. Florian was my favourite character by far, and his point of view was interesting but again, his past was brief, and there is no mention of what his life was like before the war. He had great many secrets, which is partly why he was so interesting.

Some things in the book really bugged me when it became clear that you weren't ever going to know what happened. Joana believes herself a murderer, for reasons explained later in the book, but you never actually find out if she really is.

The constant changing of perspective got rather confusing, especially when they were all in different places doing different things, but once I had got a grip on the characters, the story made much more sense. I feel as if it is one of those books that you have to read twice to truly understand what is going on.

Though it did pick up the pace reasonably quickly, at the beginning some of the story didn't seem to have much of a purpose and it started off rather slow. I understood that the characters needed a bit of a backstory, but it could've been shorter and perhaps more interesting. Also, at the start, Ingrid only seemed to be mentioned very briefly or not at all unless they were travelling.

Posted on: 7th June 2017 at 11:38 am

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