Publisher: Penguin Canada
Genre: Young Adult | Historical Fiction
Pages: 400 Pages
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA |Amazon
In 1945, 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 each other 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.
Me Oh My! I had this ARC sitting on my bookshelf since before Christmas and I fought a constant daily battle to not grab it and devour it in one sitting. My goal was to wait closer to the release date, but I tell ya, that was no easy feat!
This is Sepetys' third novel, and I am not surprised that it was another outstanding success! Ruta Sepetys has such a wonderful talent of creating characters that you will forever be in love with. You will cry for them, hurt with them, laugh with them and miss them immediately after you turn the final page and say goodbye.
Salt to the Sea was delivered in the most perfect way, in multiple perspectives. This group of characters whom were experiencing the same horrors that came during Hitler and Stalin's WWII, were told by four very different point of views. It was haunting, beautiful, ugly and terrifying. I have always had a love for History; And a more special place in my heart for the WWII era. There is something about this era that I am drawn to. I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable when it comes to this time, however, I had no idea about the Wilhelm Gustolff. Salt to the Sea humbled me. It will definitely make you look around and be so very thankful for everything you have in your life!
Sepetys has this amazing ability to take the horrendous ugliness of war and weave around it a beautiful love story. She created a family within this small group of characters that no war could tear apart. The relationship between Opi and Klaus, the wondering boy, was truly an honour to read. Their relationship was so tender and loving. Emila was such a sweet and endearing character. The unimaginable things that she suffered through would have broken the strongest of men, and yet, this young girl was still standing tall and mighty. And, of course, the relationship between Joana and Florian. Who knew that during a heart-wrenching story of War you could find light and relief inside of an innocent love story.
It is no surprise that I was completely blown away by Salt and the Sea. Sepetys had me at Hello when she debuted with Between Shades of Gray. I can now add this book snugly next to her previous books in my all-time favourites list. I expect to see her work among the most famed literary writers years from now. She has earned a spot on those shelves!
Yes, Salt and the Sea will make you cry, it will make you shudder and wince. But, it will also make you laugh, make your heart grow fonder and educate you. It will bring to life a story that needed to be told.
I miss this book already!