Saturday, December 31, 2016

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea
Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

Review: It was fascinating to learn more about the little known Lithuanian refugees during World War II; I always appreciate a book that teaches me something new about history while telling a compelling story.  I was astonished to learn that this book was based on the true story of the largest maritime disaster of all time; the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, which I had never even heard of.  The author has clearly done lots of research about the subject, and managed to bring the story to life in a gripping and tragic way.

However, I had a heard time connecting with the characters, possibly due to the narrative jumping around quickly between the four different narrators.  In the beginning, it was even hard to remember which character was which, and that didn't improve as the story went on.  In my opinion, this book would have been so much better with more depth of character.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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