This was my first ever historical ya read, and I loved it so much. Despite the atrocities of it, I love to study this time and this book was just so perfect and well researched. So last night, around midnight, I finished Salt to the Sea. I shouldn’t have read this that late. It was just so emotional.
It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed.
This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.
Okay, so the four points of view made this book so amazing. The characters were just so wonderful—except one—and so full of emotion. They all had so many emotions and secrets. They were so well built by Ruta and made the whole book so so raw and emotional. The story behind the characters was just amazing as they had such backstories and were so developed and unique and put across the different opinions during the war, and the different fears that they all had. They also really pout across the hopes that people had and what they desperately wanted.
About halfway through is when I really felt something. The book became so real. And it didn’t really dawn on me that it happened and people went though this—even though I knew it all along—it only truly hit me about half way though.
The book felt as if it was actually written in 1945, like diaries or something, it felt so real. I think that it was mainly because Ruta researched this so well and captured emotion amazingly. She also has an excellent writing style which made the emotions so clear and powerful throughout the book.
She didn’t shy away from the realities of WW2 and the gruesome things that happened, which made the book so so raw and powerful.
So I know that this review was shorter than usual but I didn’t really want to go into a character review as they all combined to make a great story.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Let me know.
Thanks for reading,