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Salt to the Sea
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May 2020: Other Books > Salt to the Sea - Ruta Sepetys - 4 stars

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message 1: by Shelly (last edited May 18, 2020 06:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shelly | 531 comments What attracted me to this book was the chance to learn about an historic event about which I knew nothing. The story revolves around the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea at the end of WWII. The German ocean liner was ferrying German soldiers and refugees away from the advancing Russian army when it was torpedoed by a Russian sub. There were over 10,000 aboard and it is thought that 9,000 perished. The story is told by 4 characters; 3 are brought together by circumstances as they make their way to the port on foot. The 4th is a German sailor aboard the ship as it prepares and then departs. Each character has a backstory, which is revealed during the journey. Two are totally plausible especially in 1945, at the end of the war. One involves Hitler's theft of art from across Europe that was never recovered, which added a nice mystery to the story. The 4th story of the German sailor is plausible but so greatly exaggerated that he becomes too easy to hate. The story moves quickly and although you know from the beginning that they all get on the fated ship, you must read the story to find out if any of them survive. I thought the ending was beautifully crafted and written. I listened to this book, which had 4 different narrators for the 4 main characters. I thought that worked well. Solid 4 stars.

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7255 comments I really liked this book too. I never had heard about this event either, and that is what attracted me.

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