Saturday, May 7, 2016
Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Summary from Goodreads:
For readers of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, international bestselling author Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.
World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's #1 NYT bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff--the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.
I've loved Sepetys writing since I first picked up Between Shades of Gray, and once again her writing and character depth touched my heart.
I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction but Ruta Sepetys (and Cat Winters) is able to bring me into the genre with her beautiful prose and the emphasis on characters that I love.
I tend to dislike multiple POVS but sometimes I like them in certain novels and this was one of them. The four characters had distinct voices and each of them (expect Alfred) broke my heart and had me rooting for their survival.
I really connected to each of the characters, Joana, Florian, and Emilia (oh, her parts broke me) and spent the entire book on edge with hope that they would make it out okay.
Between Shades of Gray was my first venture into YA historical fiction and it showed me that I can enjoy the genre without being bombarded with names/dates or historical elements that I have a hard time understanding. So, I adored the connection between Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray. :)
I recommend checking out all of her novels!
Four Stars Out of Five Stars