Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.
Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.
As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.
Yet not all promises can be kept.
Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.
AMAZON LINK- http://amzn.to/1rLg7Dz
"Guilt is a hunter.
I was it's hostage."
Salt to the Sea brought focus to an historic event that deserves the attention of every person in the world. On January 30, 1945, 9,400 lives were taken when their ship to "freedom" was struck by torpedoes and sunk. That is the most human loss in a single ship sinking in history; So why haven't we heard of it before? Why has this important piece of history been wrapped in darkness for so long? I'm not sure, but Ruta Sepeteys brought light to the event with her intricate poetic words and did it the justice it deserved. When I think of this Author I think of what a mastermind she is at bringing history into our lives and making it the present. She weaves epic moments of tragedy and uses words to teach us things we ought to know. Her stories are so potent that sometimes I feel they will swallow me up whole. This book was no different... It was a gut wrenching story of war struggles, history, hope, death, desperation, and love.
Their were four main characters...
Joana, the nurse.
Emilia, the pregnant polish girl.
Florian, the mysterious boy with an important mission.
& Alfred, the psychopath sailor that I honestly didn't care for.
Their lives overlap when they seek out on their personal missions... Emilia encounters Florian and looks to him as a hero. She feels he is vital to her survival so she follows him and forces her presence in his life. When they come across a group of refugees they aren't sure who to trust, but quickly take an interest in the leader Joana. For she is the glue to the group... She mends their wounds. gives encouragement, and shows care when it is needed most. The group consists of a wandering boy, a knowledgeable shoe maker, a whiny giantess, and a blind woman. They each have a brutal story, but have chosen to come together in hopes of finding the happy ending they all crave. Through heart ache and sickness they make their way to the boat that suggests freedom. No one could guess that their fates lie within a steel prison, but it does and quickly, that prison turns into their death sentence.
This book was epic. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough. I became emotionally invested in the characters and took each word to heart. The writing was exquisite and I was a huge fan of the short chapters that punched a lot of impact. After each character's part I was anxious for another chapter. It really pulled me into the story and left me begging for more. The desperation in the story was one for the books. The emotion seeped from the pages and romance hid deep within the paragraphs. The lies flowed freely and the brutal reality slowly crept in. I don't think I've ever encountered a more well rounded book... It's definitely a top read for 2016. Everyone MUST read it!
*Even if you don't like history I think you will still enjoy this book. There was a romance that was quite contagious. I loved rooting for their happily ever after.*