Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom. When their paths converge in route to the ship that promises salvation, Joana, Emilia, and Florian find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety. When tragedy strikes the Wilhelm Gustloff, they must fight for the same thing: survival.
Publisher: New York : Philomel Books, 2016
ISBN: 9780399160301
0399160302
Branch Call Number: FICTION Sep
Characteristics: 391 pages : illustration ; 22 cm

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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

What would you do to survive in wartime? What would you sacrifice? Whom would you sacrifice? Three refugees—all teens—are on the losing side of World War II. They are struggling through the German-Prussian countryside, heading for the same destination—a German evacuation camp of civilians and wounded soldiers on the Baltic Sea. (more)


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CRRLKids Sep 26, 2017

This book read a lot like a Titanic survival story, maybe an I Survived read for an older audience. The first half of the book was a bit hard to keep track of as each chapter was narrated by a different character, but as you kept reading, how they connected to one another was made clearer. The se... Read More »

Joana, Florian, and Emilia are among 10,000 World War II refugees struggling to stay alive when tragedy strikes their ship the Wilhelm Gustloff. Based on true events.


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k
Kitakomenome
Nov 10, 2017

This is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes War, Romance and Historical fiction-like books. Reminds me of the Titanic, which, for the record, is one of the saddest and best movies I have ever seen.

This book is about a group of strangers who become good friends and struggle to make it to a safer land without being caught in the middle of the war. A must read!

m
Marilyn34
Oct 23, 2017

What would you do if you were stuck working with an enemy?

Check out my review of "Salt to the Sea" on my blog at:
http://axarr.blogspot.com/2016/08/review-wednesday-salt-to-sea-by-ruta.html

d
Delia95
Oct 03, 2017

An excellent historical novel for YA. The author retells the personal history of many citizens catch up in the tragedies of WW11 through her wonderful selection of characters. Readers of all ages will want to know what happens to the 4 main characters of this well-written novel.

Vilka Sep 27, 2017

Short chapters (only 1-4 pages long) keep the story moving quickly, watching from the viewpoints of four young protagonists--a Lithuanian nurse with a guilty conscience, a Polish teenager hiding a secret, an evasive Prussian with false papers, and a low-ranking German sailor--as they try to escape the Soviet advance in 1945 and move towards what will be the greatest naval disaster in history. A moving account of ordinary people's experiences in wartime and the struggle for survival. The afterword includes an interesting list of books that the author used for research and inspiration.

CRRLKids Sep 26, 2017

This book read a lot like a Titanic survival story, maybe an I Survived read for an older audience. The first half of the book was a bit hard to keep track of as each chapter was narrated by a different character, but as you kept reading, how they connected to one another was made clearer. The second half of the book was a page turning, riveting thriller as each character has to decide whether they could trust one another as tragedy loomed near aboard the ship.

n
naguiar
Aug 24, 2017

This was an interesting and educational novel. Throughout I found the supporting characters to be infinitely more interesting than the main characters through the Shoe Poet, the Wandering Boy, Ingrid, and Eva. I could have happily gone without Florian's story entirely, and the book would have been significantly better without the ideas of romance. Otherwise, it was an emotional and well-written story I could see myself revisiting.

b
blue_bee_1863
Jul 27, 2017

This is a great book.
I don't particularly consider this book a romance because it's about tragic events. Though it does have some romantic parts I don't recommend for the readers in it for the romance.
Overall, this book captured my heart and made me cry. Emilia's death was something I couldn't let go. Her pregnancy and her baby was shocking but hurt when she was raped.
The death of Poet had me in tears as well.
I am most glad that Joana and Florian took it in their hands to care for them. Joana and Florian are a perfect example of what it feels like to strive for family. How to believe and trust. And to conclude, they couldn't resist the passion building up inside for each other. They are an example of how people held back feelings for others because they are scared they will lose them as well.
Poor families were killed and the blind were treated like dogs.
And as to conclude, I loved this novel.

k
Katrin19
Jul 26, 2017

Loved this book, the characters, the story, the short chapters kept me turning the pages.

d
darladoodles
Jul 20, 2017

Thank you, Ruta Sepetys, for giving a voice to those who were on the Wilhelm Gustloff. So many lives were lost in the Baltic Sea that winter, yet many of us know so much more about the war in France and Germany or the battles in the Pacific. The stories about these Baltic States and their intenable position between Germany and Russian forces has shaped who they are today.

I loved the shifting POVs in this book as they gave us a 360-degree view of the tragedy. The characters Sepetys creates for us, even the supporting ones are developed well. We feel like we know them. The reader feels Joanna's guilt, Florian's fate, Emilia's shame and Alfred's fear. As the story progresses they are soon all on the ship together and then tragedy strikes.

Cynthia_N Apr 13, 2017

Slow start for me with the multiple points of view but it quickly pulled me in. Powerful story based on true events!

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AL_MARYA Dec 31, 2016

“But unlike Mama, I would not go to heaven. My secrets padlocked the gates. I'd be a torn kite stuck in the dead branches of a tree, unable to fly.”

KindianaJones_VWML May 06, 2016

"The Fuhrer is a talented watercolorist. He applied to art school [...] but the school did not accept him. Oh, how they will regret it."

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