Today's review is for
Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pages: 221 pages
This book takes place in East Prussia at the end of World War II. Refugees are trying to get back to their home countries and the families they left behind. Among them are Joana, Florian, Emilia. Their paths cross and as they travel together with a few others, the discover they are all harboring secrets from the last four years of the war. They and their traveling party end up on a boat called the Wilhelm Gustloff that is sailing to Keil. A boat - built to hold 1500 people sets off with more than 10,000 passengers. Among those passengers are soldiers and families and children.
Tragedy strikes and everyone on board has to fight for survival. People show their true colors in the face of danger, and true heros emerge.
This was a great book. Really great. I seem to be stuck on WWII novels this year - keep going back to them - and this one ranks near the top. (I think I am stuck because we are now living in Switzerland and German history is all around us). Each chapter is told by a different main character - seeing the scene through their eyes. Each one has secrets they are not sure they should share. All feel that some part of what happened to their families is their fault. And none of them think they will ever find their way back home.
All the characters are well developed and for the most part - likable. (apart from the character Albert, but he isn't supposed to be likable) The Wilhelm Gustloff was an actual boat that carried 10,000 refugees at the end of the war. But you will have to read the book to find out the fate of this boat and the people on it.
Check this book out. It is a quick read and you will not be disappointed.
Stars: 4 1/2