Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war's final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Philomel Books, [2016]
ISBN: 9780399160301
Branch Call Number: YA SEPETYS
Characteristics: 391 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

In 1945, the Russian army advances toward Germany. Ahead of it, thousands seek to escape. Four refugees’ paths cross and converge. Each carries a burden and a secret. Each seeks safety. Will they find it aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff? ArapahoePaige

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ArapahoePaige Dec 16, 2019

In 1945, the Russian army advances toward Germany. Ahead of it, thousands of refugees seek to escape. Four refugees’ paths cross and converge and finally they band together. Each carries a burden. Each carries a secret. Each seeks safety. Will they find it aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff?

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. (Goodreads)

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ArapahoeLaura Feb 07, 2018

Emotional story of four teen refugees during WWII

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ArapahoeKati Aug 03, 2016

Okay, tbh, the four viewpoints are a little tough to get into in the beginning, but you gotta keep reading. I knew nothing about this maritime disaster, and it's all I've been thinking about since I finished it.


From the critics


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EmilyEm
Jun 21, 2020

Four young people—Joana, Alfred, Emilia and Florian—narrate a story of survival as WW II enters its final months and evacuees travel west toward the Baltic ahead of advancing Soviet forces.

Wow. Quite a work of historic fiction, page-turning good. Loved the inclusion about the lost Amber Room I have read much about, also was reminded of Chris Bohjalian’s 'Skeletons at the Feast.'

b
Bibli0phile6
Jun 07, 2020

Wow! This book is now one of my favorite of all time! It was so beautifully written and sheds light on one of the forgotten parts of history. I loved the four viewpoints (even though Alfred got on my nerves), and how personal it made the tragedy. I can't even describe how amazing this book is!

c
creativegirly123
Mar 26, 2020

This book is amazing! It's by far my favorite book of all time. It's a bit gory but not that much, with a perfect amount of romance in the mix. It really makes you think about what really happened back in WW2. I love the quote at the beginning. It really helps tie the story together. I love all the different main characters (Except Alfred!!! But he did need to be in the story to give a different kind of point of view.), they are very close to my heart, and it really explains the different struggles each one of them has. I love first person, because it helps you to really grasp and experience what the author is meaning and I am so happy that I read this book! It's a must read, so you must read it! Like, now. Go. Why are you still reading this? LOL, enjoy the book! One book that is similar is Everything I Never Told You.

r
Rdi123
Jan 27, 2020

A favorite author. Excellent

JCLBetM Jan 03, 2020

A creative story with a varied cast of characters and a historical event in WWII that is rarely mentioned -- it didn't stop me in my tracks but is definitely worth a read. I also appreciated seeing different kinds of German characters.

ArapahoePaige Dec 16, 2019

In 1945, the Russian army advances toward Germany. Ahead of it, thousands of refugees seek to escape. Four refugees’ paths cross and converge and finally they band together. Each carries a burden. Each carries a secret. Each seeks safety. Will they find it aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff?

p
peacebenow
Nov 26, 2019

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A group of strangers (supposedly Germain ethnicity approved) are thrown together in an attempt to survive and escape the advancing Russians in WWII. The bonds they develop over time are revealed as well as the true character of the people involved. Ultimately a disaster where huge numbers of people were killed and an incident that seemed little known. Humans at their best and their very worst.

e
Ethiopianwolf
Nov 01, 2019

This is one of the greatest book of all times!! I absolutely loved it! Ruta Sepetys masterfully reveals a period in history that has been swept under the rug. I highly recommend, however; with its themes of the brutality of war, it's not for everyone.

g
good_stuff_4U
Aug 22, 2019

This author finds the brutal paths of WW II historical fiction and places them before readers in a way that requires you to face the offering in it's entirety. It even marginally addresses some of the questions about how German culture became numb to Hitler's agenda of death. I could not put this book down...

i
INVS
Mar 08, 2019

I had mixed feelings about this read - I'd given up on the audiobook. She's so right that this disaster from WWII is rarely ever mentioned, so I'm glad to understand it. I just didn't care for the style used to convey the account. However, it did give me a new, underappreciated view of how millions of people didn't agree with what country leaders were doing and died trying to escape the carnage. My personal animosity toward the people that lined up behind the Nazi society is great & I struggle to overcome these personal feelings.

The author writes of the flower wreaths cast into the water caught me short because she lists hibiscus. I pondered how hibiscus might be found in this landlocked cold climate....picky. There are several points of interest offered from this read that I intend to pursue further.

My family member was a German POW. When liberated, the gates were opened & the POWs were more afraid of the approaching Russians than of their captors.

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Magic_24
Nov 14, 2019

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FaithR thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Jul 18, 2018

blue_bee_2537 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Mar 24, 2018

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blue_bee_1863
Jan 06, 2018

blue_bee_1863 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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ArapahoeMaryA 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."

Notices

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Other: There are mentions of attempted rape. One of the main characters is raped, but's not to graphic. Also there are graphic descriptions of people dying that my be upsetting to some.

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