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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea (edition 2016)

by Ruta Sepetys (Author)

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1,3891188,011 (4.32)113
Title:Salt to the Sea
Authors:Ruta Sepetys (Author)
Info:Philomel Books (2016), Edition: First Printing, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:historical fiction, favorites

Work details

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

  1. 30
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (lillibrary)
  2. 20
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (sweetbug)
    sweetbug: Both heartbreaking stories of young men and women displaced by WWII.
  3. 10
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Anonymous user)
  4. 10
    A Night to Remember by Walter Lord (dara85)
    dara85: Sinking of the Titanic
  5. 00
    Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (Sandwich76)

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Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
didn't do as much for me as I had thought it would, but still a great novel. ( )
  ireneattolia | Sep 3, 2018 |
What a great story. Wait. A horrible story, but well written and I couldn't put it down. That parts of history that don't make it into the books is amazing. ( )
  ksmedberg | Aug 15, 2018 |
This book was beautiful and devastating all at the same time. Near the end of WWII, the people of German occupied territory were evacuating ahead of the rampaging Russians. This is the story of a 'family' of refugees, all from different countries, whose lives are thrown together as they try to escape. The writing is beautiful. Sepetys' short chapters keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole novel. And despite the shortness of each chapter, you feel fully drawn into the struggles, hopes, dreams, and fears of each of the main characters.
  Breanne.Lawson | Jul 16, 2018 |
3.5 stars rounded up.

What astonished me the most about this novel was the fact that I had never heard of the Wilhelm Gastloff before, considering the magnitude of the loss it represents. I think it is most easily explained by considering that the people aboard this ship were German citizens at the close of World War II, and their loss was lost in the horrors that emerged after the war. Ruta Sepetys does a marvelous job of exposing this untold tale to the light of day and making you appreciate that each of those 10,000 souls was an individual human being, frightened and hoping to survive and fighting for life.

Sepetys uses a unique contrivance by writing the story in short, rapid-fire chapters that rotate between her four main characters. Between them, they represent every aspect of the war itself, the outright victim, the duped (but now enlightened) participator, the guilty survivor and the crazed Nazi. With a style that seems effortless, Sepetys pulls you into their lives and stirs your emotions to the full gamut that runs between love and disgust.

For such a bleak tale, there is an unexpected thread of hope and light that penetrates the darkness. The end speaks well of the human spirit and the capacity that love has to conquer hate. I am glad that someone thought to shine a light on this tragedy and give a voice and identity to its victims. I am impressed with Ruta Sepetys' abilities as an author and the care she took in researching and accurately portraying this moment in history. I will not hesitate to read more of her work. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Told from the perspectives of refugees, a soldier, and a mysterious young art restorer--and those they meet. All end up on an ill-fated ship, the Willhelm Gustloff. Heart-breaking, yet hopeful; you can't put this one down as you race to find out the final fate of each of them. ( )
  cherybear | Jul 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Four out of five stars. I enjoyed most of this book. However some parts seemed unnecessary and a little slow but over all it was a nice quick read that kept me interested. I wish that there was more to the ending, it was a bit difficult to understand and I re-read it twice just to make sure I got the message on who Florian was reading the letter from. I thought it was a great YA read with nice use of language and context. Alfred was annoying, and after reading a few of his chapters it was refreshing to know that even the other soldiers thought so too. Sepetys really did a great job developing the characters, making you love some of them, feel sorry for some, feel sad for some and be annoyed with some.
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We the survivors are not the true witnesses. The true witnesses, those in possession of the unspeakable truth, are the drowned, the dead, the disappeared. -Primo Levi
For my father.

My hero.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399160302, Hardcover)

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

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.

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 critically acclaimed #1 New York Times 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.


New York Times Notable Book of 2011
Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2011
Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2011
The iTunes 2011 Rewind Best Teen Novel
School Library Journal Best Book of 2011
Booklist Best Book of 2011
Kirkus Best Book of 2011
2012 Indies Choice Young Adult Book of the Year
A Carnegie Medal Finalist
A William C. Morris Finalist
New York Times Bestseller
An International Bestseller
“Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both.”--The Washington Post

* “A harrowing page-turner.”--Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “A gripping story.”--School Library Journal, starred review

* “Bitterly sad, fluidly written…Sepetys' flowing prose gently carries readers.”--Kirkus, starred review
* "Beautifully written and deeply felt…an important book that deserves the widest possible readership.”--Booklist, starred review

“Stalin deported and murdered millions, but he could not destroy the seeds of memory, compassion, and art that they left behind. From those seeds, Ruta Septeys has crafted a brilliant story of love and survival that will keep their memory alive for generations to come.” --Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Wintergirls

“In terrifying detail, Ruta Sepetys re-creates World War II coming of age all too timely today. Between Shades of Gray is a document long overdue.” --Richard Peck, Newbery Award–winning author of A Year Down Yonder

Between Shades of Gray is a story of astonishing force. I feel grateful for a writer like Ruta Sepetys who bravely tells the hard story of what happens to the innocent when world leaders and their minions choose hate and oppression. Beautiful and unforgettable.” --Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Newbery Honor–winning author of Hitler Youth 

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Aug 2015 03:02:02 -0400)

"As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war's final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull"--

(summary from another edition)

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