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The Fountains of Silence

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  32,088 ratings  ·  5,566 reviews
A portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Philomel Books
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Ruta Sepetys
Ruta Sepetys - author, young adult, fiction

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daphne I personally liked Salt to the Sea better, but Salt to the Sea is literally my favorite book ever. I still really, really enjoyed The Fountains of Sil…moreI personally liked Salt to the Sea better, but Salt to the Sea is literally my favorite book ever. I still really, really enjoyed The Fountains of Silence. :)(less)
Dustin Street Generally, in YA, paperback editions release about a year following the hardcover release. It can sometimes be longer, depending on the publisher and …moreGenerally, in YA, paperback editions release about a year following the hardcover release. It can sometimes be longer, depending on the publisher and their marketing plan for the book. A lot of times, international editions are paperback from the start, depending on the country/foreign publisher.(less)

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Ruta Sepetys paints a richly descriptive and historically detailed picture of post war Spain under the fascist dictator, General Franco. It is 1957, and Spain is desperate for money and to facilitate this, is welcoming tourists to the country. 18 year old American Daniel Matheson is staying at a luxury hotel with his family, his father is an oil tycoon looking to make a deal with Franco's regime. Spain is the country of Daniel's mother, and he is looking to explore it, with every intent of looki ...more
Ruta Sepetys can tell a story – that is really all you need to know!

Some authors write one great book and then spend the rest of their career trying to achieve the same level of greatness. Not Sepetys – she hits it out of the park every time! If you loved and were moved by her other books, you will definitely love and be moved by this one as well.

This time the story takes place is 1960s Spain during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Overall, Spain is a country of which I do not have a lot of
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Hey friends, I’m so excited to read a story about story an emotional, heart wrenching story takes place in Madrid in late 50’s when General Franco’s dictatorship takes over and rules the city! I’m taking small bites from patatas bravas, empanadillas accompanied by a big pitcher of Sangria (my new decision, tasting the foods where the book’s story is told to have a better focus on my book! I also ate beef stroganoff and had several vodka shots when I’m reading “Bear and Nightingale series”. Maybe ...more
Emily May
Mar 22, 2019 marked it as dnf
I'm not going to rate or review this. I've only liked one of the three Sepetys books I've read in the past, but I was really hoping a book on Spain under Franco would be the equalizer. It wasn't to be. I'm just not a fan of the way the author jumps very quickly between multiple POVs. I feel so detached from the stories. Just not for me. ...more
Hannah Greendale
Congested, sacharrine, and melodramatic.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction at its finest, The Fountains of Silence is another stellar work from Ruth Sepetys. I really loved Salt to the Sea by her as well. This book tells the story of Francisco Franco's Spain during the 50s. Franco is a brutal dictator but he needs American business men to invest in his country, so he opens its doors to the United States. Daniel comes along with his parents to visit his mother's birthplace.

Soon, the young Texan is immersed in Spanish politics because of his love of ph
Alex's Reads & Reviews
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Do you realize the lengths I would go to for a copy of this book? I NEED THIS SO BADLY

Now it’s been read, and this is easily one of my favorites of the year! It’s heart-breaking, it’s romantic, it’s fun, and it’s achingly honest in a way only Sepetys can achieve. Her debut, Between Shades of Gray, is one of my all time favorites, but her last two have been slightly disappointing. This, however, is her redemption novel. Filled with intricate and real characters, historical intrigue, and lusty ro
It's been three days and I've yet to consolidate my feelings on this book. Blame school. So I'm just going to flat-out type everything (oh boy) (as I usually do).

First off, we've got our delightful cast of characters. I absolutely LOVED all the characters in this book. It was lovely seeing the romance bloom between Ana and Daniel. While the characters themselves were really enjoyable to read about, I didn't get the feeling that these characters were real, like I usually do with Ruta Sepetys' boo
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

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A while back, I read another book called Ruta Sepetys, called OUT OF THE EASY, a work of young adult historical fiction set in 1950s New Orleans. It had the potential to be an interesting book, but the lazy, meandering pace; lack of action; and reliance on an almost entirely character-driven story made for some tough readin'. I hoped that THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE, with its intriguing premise of characters struggling to exist under the m
Lea | That_Bookdragon
A solid 5/5 ⭐️

Thank you so much to Penguin Random House International for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. A very pretty bookmark was also included in the package they sent me, which you can see HERE

"The history hasn't written itself yet, Matheson. But you're capturing it as we speak with your photos."

Before we start, I would like to say that I was really eager for this book to be released because it is set during Franco's Spain. You guys n
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Ruta Septeys' latest novel takes readers to Madrid, Spain in 1957 under the vice like grip of General Francisco Franco, a fascist dictator. This is my first time reading about this period of 20th century history and I continue to be in awe of the author's talent in making the bridge between YA and general historical fiction.

If this book were to be adapted to a screen, it would have to be a television series because the author alternates between a full cast of characters (think LOST) who all eve
I picked this book up this week because it was on my #tometopple tbr and I couldn't be anymore happier that I picked it up and read all 512 pages! I loved listening to this audiobook.
5/5 stars!(:
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Danielle McNally

When I read, I want to be transported. To another place, to another time, to a world I never could have experienced on my own. In Ruta Sepetys’s latest, The Fountains of Silence, I was taken to a sepia-toned summer in 1950s Spain. The entire time I was reading (which wasn’t long, since I flew through the 475-page novel in three days), I felt as if I, too, were walking the cobblestoned streets of Madrid, the heat of the late afternoon sun on my shoulders.

That said,
Renee (itsbooktalk)
If you're like me and tell yourself that you don't like YA, give this book a try and prepare to be blown away! My automatic reaction when I come across YA is to pass it by but after reading several I've loved (Field Notes on Love, Hope and Other Punchlines, Salt to the Sea) and now this, I have to say...I'm LOVING YA! I know this author is known as a "crossover" author since her books appeal to both teens and adults and I would agree but with The Fountains of Silence, I'd almost say it has a mor ...more
#mystrangereading The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5 stars rounded up to 5 for GR)

Only Ruta Sepetys can rip your heart completely apart and then put the pieces back together again with a beautiful conclusion. My only qualm was that I really wanted an epilogue, but goodness that was heartbreaking, painful, inspiring and just stunning.

I love Spain and even lived there for a summer, but damn did I learn so much more than I ever understood before.

Aspects that make this historic
Having had twelve hours to process the book after reading it in the span of twenty-four hours including a car ride (and I don't read in the car because well, motion-sickness, but there are just times where that needs to be overcome), I can now write a review that consists of more than hearts and exclamation points.

Picking stories that represent dark times in our global history is likely the easiest part, but deciding to tell it with the emotional strength and depth required can only be trusted
may ❀
this book was incredibly informative and eye-opening. there's so much deep information about spain during franco's rule and the horrors that occurred during that time. this book is rich with details and the many different faces and lives that spain had to offer.

i found it kind of slow and drawn out. the beginning and middle portion of the book felt like it went on forever. i really liked the ending though i would have liked to see more of the characters closer to present day.

lots of thoughts on
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Ruta Sepetys is the queen of period pieces and she did not disappoint in the brief sampler I read of The Fountains of Silence. The Setting is Madrid Spain in 1957. Under a harsh dictatorship, Spain is hiding a dark secret, but that does not stop the flood of tourists and businessmen from flocking to Spain.

In the sample, I was introduced to eighteen-year-old, Daniel, and Ana, a young hotel employee.

****I read a SAMPLER of the book and not the book itself. The sample served to pique my interest a
mindful.librarian ☀️
Phenomenal narrative about a setting and time I had almost no knowledge of. A must read for historical fiction readers in general as well as fans of the author’s other works. Also an excellent companion read to Lisa Wingate’s “Before We Were Yours”.
Aoife - Bookish_Babbling
Another read that I'm not sure how to rate. I've been backburner thinking about how to review this book since I finished it on's now sunday morning and I need to post something before I forget entirely 🙈

I have previously read one Ruta Sepetys book last year and have another waiting on my kindle for a Buddy Read if/when things calm down.
Both those books show aspects of WW2 from perspectives that we don't often see them from and this book was no different in that it shows a time in Sp
Bitchin' Reads
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Ruta Sepetys yet. The last third of it had me sobbing regularly. SOBBING, I SAY. BIG FAT BITTERSWEET TEARS.
Kim Friant
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars—Ok so first off, I love Sepetys’ books. They’re amazing and she’s one the authors that I pick up no matter what the book is about. But I’m gonna start with my one criticism that applies to multiple books. The endings frustrate the crap outta me! I’m learning to accept open endings that could go in any direction and could be interpreted and imagined in a myriad of ways. However, with Sepetys’ stories, I want to know more! She always seems to completely draw me into the stories and the cha ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Helpless children and teenagers become innocent victims of wretched violence and ideological pressure... innocent youths who, instead of pursuing hopes and dreams, became fountains of silence.” Ruta Sepetys

Sepetays has created another masterpiece in this beautifully told story of Spanish life under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Engaging characters that help to expose the different facets of life under Franco. I really liked that the story was told through the eyes of young adults. As Se
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Seatbelts pls, y’all are about to engage on a very crazy fan rant 😉)
GAIS, i need help. Anyone know how to perform open heart surgery?????
I trusted Ruta Sepetys with my heart (again), and she ripped it out unmercifully (again).
This book was so beautiful- everything about it. And tbh guys, I CRIED. AND I HARDLY EVER CRY WHEN IM READING BOOKS. THAT’S HOW GOOD THIS WAS and also as a side note I mayyyy have read this in less then 24 hours. *nervous chuckle* yeahh
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't normally read YA, but when I was offered an ARC and saw how how popular this author was, I decided to go for it. The setting is 1950s Spain under the rule of General Francisco Franco. The hero, 18 year old Daniel Matheson arrives with his parents as his father conducts whatever business Texas oil tycoons do. They stay at a swanky hotel that is popular with the Hollywood type set. Many famous names are dropped throughout the story - say too many names.

Anyway, Daniel meets up with hotel e
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Well-researched book about life in Spain under the leadership of Franco. Set in 1957, we follow the life of 18-year old Daniel Matheson, who has travelled from Texas to Madrid with his father (who is trying to negotiate an oil deal with Franco) and Spanish mother, who is dealing with her own problems. Daniel is adrift, having broken up with his high society girlfriend, and unsure how to tell his father that he wants to be a photographer. He falls for the hotel maid, Ana, and gets a real view of ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
BOTM YA add on November 2019!
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
5 incredible stars

Warning: gushing ahead!

I am a late bloomer to the Ruta Sepetys bandwagon. I read or rather listened to “Salt to the Sea” around February this year.
That story moved me so deeply that Ruta instantly became one of the authors I am vowing to follow in every adventure she goes on.

Did the Fountains of Silence live up to my expectation? Totally!

Is it another Salt to the Sea?
No even if you can find Ruta's trademark in her precise and effortless writing; in her use of multiple poin
Belkiss Misa
Dec 30, 2018 marked it as to-read
My body and soul are ready
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2020, dec-20
Author Ruta Sepetys is unquestionably a gifted writer! Her story telling ability is simply captivating!
In The Fountains of Silence she takes us to Madrid in 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco the country is ruled by an iron fist.
This story of love, silence and secrets taught me many things I wasn't aware of during this time in Spain. The media reports and oral history commentary were a wonderful addition to the story.
I highly recommend this audiobook!
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#1 New York Times Bestselling Author and Winner of the Carnegie Medal.
Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. The daughter of a refugee, Ruta is drawn to underrepresented stories of strength through struggle and hopes to give voice to those who weren't able to tell their story. Her award-winning historical novels are published in over fifty c

Articles featuring this book

Young adult novelist Marie Lu burst onto the scene in 2011 with the first book in her Legend series, set in a dystopian, futuristic Los Angeles....
107 likes · 19 comments
“Truth breaks the chains of silence." Puri puts a trembling hand to her chest. Her voice drops to a whisper.
"It sets us all free.”
“Silence has a voice of its own.” 31 likes
More quotes…