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Michelle, Chobham Academy Book Group

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea is a historical fiction novel. It is set in WWII and told from the perspective of 4 main characters. This gives us an insight into the situation from all angles.

Each chapter consists of a few pages, sometimes even just a word. This kept me entertained and interested in the book, as there was a sense of urgency which kept the book flowing at an upbeat pace. It resulted in me wanting to go back to the book over and over again.

The story tells the tale of 4 ordinary people, brought together in a time of need. They must travel through Nazi Germany to reach a boat that promises their freedom, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Each person has their own reason for this journey, but overall, we are shown how they still work together and ultimately risk their lives for each other.

The characters are: Emilia, a pregnant, Polish teenager; Florian, an art restorer from Prussia; Joana, a Lithuanian nurse and Alfred, a German sailor. There is also an array of supporting characters that enrich the plot.

The characters are perfectly drawn and add to the captivating story line. I can't help but feel sympathy towards some of the characters and feel complete hatred and disgust towards others.

The story wasn't plain sailing (sorry for the pun), and a tale of love, friendship, crime, hatred and justice unfolds before our eyes.

This story was accurately researched and based on a real, tragic event which is not widely known of. This factor makes the novel an educational, yet harrowing and powerful story for anyone who is lucky enough to read it.

I believe that the book is suitable for children aged 11+ and that the information it contains should be advertised
to a wider audience.

Posted on: 7th June 2017 at 11:16 pm

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