Friday, 4 March 2016

Review - Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pages: 400
Publisher: Puffin
Release date: 4th February 2016

Blurb from Goodreads: 
In the cruel winter of 1945, four very different young people narrate their stories. Joana, Emilia and Florian are part of desperate group of refugees trekking across Germany, bound together only by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Alfred is a German soldier stationed on that ship.

This hugely touching, inspirational novel is based on a true story. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. It is the biggest maritime disaster in history, killing more people than the Titanic. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, has brilliantly brought this story to light and created a group of unforgettable characters with unmissable stories.


My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children's and NetGalley*

3/5 stars

It's 1945 and war is raging in Europe.
Joana, Emilia and Florian are travelling through Germany, each hoping to escape for their own reason.
Fate brings them together and to the Wilhelm Gustloff where they meet Alfred who is stationed on the ship.
Will they make it home and find their families?

Salt to the Sea was an intriguing read about a tough subject.
Joana, Emilia and Florian were all interesting characters. Alfred, however, I didn't like at all. Joana was my favourite as I felt that I connected to her the most. 
The plot was good but not much happened. I liked the writing style and found it easy to follow. I wanted to read on but I wasn't gripped. The chapters were short so it was hard to get to really get to know the characters.
I had never heard about what happened to the Wilhelm Gustloff and it's terrible that the disaster isn't better known. I also never learned much about what happened to the Polish, so that aspect was interesting.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.