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The Fountains of Silence (2019)

by Ruta Sepetys

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1,0025117,766 (4.18)34
At the Castellana Hilton in 1957 Madrid, eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson connects with Ana Moreno through photography and fate as Daniel discovers the incredibly dark side of the city under Generalissimo Franco's rule.
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» See also 34 mentions

English (50)  Catalan (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
I have loved Ruth Sepetys books for a long time. So when I heard her most current book takes place in Madrid, Spain during Franco’s reign in 1957 I was very excited. Spain is my home away from home so I was very excited to read a book about a time period that I knew a little about but a place I was very familiar with. Daniel is an eighteen year old American who travels to Madrid with his mother, a Spaniard and his father. Daniel is a photographer and through that he meets Ana, an employee at the hotel him and his family are staying at. He soon realizes there are secrets at every turn and he has to figure out how to walk the fine line of what is right and what is safe. This book is phenomenal and amazing and completely took my breathe away. This book left me wanting more and wanting to learn more about this dark history of Spain. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting heart beating, history with a shocking, happy ending. ( )
  dabutkus | Sep 4, 2022 |
Wonderful descriptive prose set this novel apart from most other historical fiction out there. Add to that a compelling story, along with complex characters and this book is hard to put down. Highly informative also. If you are a fan of this genre, be sure to put this on your TBR list. ( )
  purpledog | Aug 10, 2022 |
Not a favorite of mine ( )
  wincheryl | Jun 20, 2022 |
Post-civil war Spain living as a Republicans’ daughter with little hope for raising herself from the slums of Madrid, girl falls in love with an American photographer. Not an easy situation, he finds where she and her family live in squalor. Important side story of the children stolen and sold, some 300,000 of them during these years. Worth rereading. My first Sepetys historical novel. ( )
  bereanna | May 28, 2022 |
This felt like reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. That was one of the most beautiful books I've read in a while, and I enjoyed this one equally as much. The details about the city of Madrid and surrounding towns were beautiful and I felt fully immersed in the time period and was invested in the story of the characters.

Things I liked:

I really enjoyed the intro to each chapter with transcripts of interviews from real life political figures who were in Spain during the time period that the novel takes place in. They helped to make the novel feel realistic and relevant.
I really enjoyed the stories told through Daniel's photographs and the references to prominent photographers of the time period. It helped me to understand the important narrative that journalistic photography tells and understand the risks that those professionals take on a daily basis.
I loved the theme of family that runs throughout the book. Some key ones are Daniel's relationship with his mom and his father and how those relationships change and grow and his relationship with his adopted sister. The family bonds in Ana's family and how they've been shaped by their past and the tragedy around them are well developed. Nick and Shep's relationship is interesting, and I really enjoyed how a change in perspective about Nick's behavior helps you to understand that dynamic a bit more.
The way the hardships of those living and suffering under Franco's rule are starkly juxtaposed with the extravagant and indulgent lifestyle of the American tourists in Spain.

Things I didn't like:

The pacing was off. While I liked the story and the short chapters, it felt slow in a lot of parts, and rushed in others. I can't pinpoint why, it just felt off.
The romance at the end was a bit soap-opera like and melodramatic.
I wish the "surprise" ending was more of a surprise and that we got to see more of the present day storyline.
Puri's character change made me really upset. I had higher expectations.
Daniel's noble sacrifice was annoying. I think young readers would find his decisions and the choices he makes in his future to be highly unlikely in reality. While this is supposed to be a cross-over book that can appeal to both adults and young adult readers, Daniel's decisions are definitely written from an adult viewpoint and I think teens might find fault with this and possibly be turned off of the book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I have heard great things about other books by this author, and reading this one makes me more likely to choose her other books. I would also like to state that this is one of the books on the list that teachers who only recommend "highbrow and intellectual" books would not hesitate to recommend. It is a very well written book that deals with "important" topics. I think this would qualify as "literature" for teachers who judge books based on literary quality. Despite all of that, I do think it is a book that teens would simply enjoy. Daniel and Ana's story is compelling, the mystery of the orphans is intriguing, and the supporting characters are interesting. ( )
  PagesandPieces | Mar 11, 2022 |
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At the Castellana Hilton in 1957 Madrid, eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson connects with Ana Moreno through photography and fate as Daniel discovers the incredibly dark side of the city under Generalissimo Franco's rule.

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