Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

From an exquisite narrative to a heart-wrenching story, Salt to the Sea takes you on a journey following four very different, unique characters.

Our four main characters are Emilia, Florian, Joana and Alfred. Three of whom I love irrevocably; the other I went on a rollercoaster with, I began by not caring for him and developing an inconceivable hatred which gradually turned into me feeling sorrow for him. However, by the end of the book I had resumed to my prior loathing.

This emotional investment added to my love of the novel, I cared so deeply for some and hated others, they riled my emotions and made me invested in their journeys.

Each chapter continues for approximately two or three pages, which usually wouldn’t work for me yet it promoted the contrasting characteristics between the various individuals and heightened my ardour for the story. As the narrative changes we can see the situation from multiple perspectives which supplies us with more information and historical context about how people from different countries during World War II would have taken to each incident.

As the story progresses we discover more about each character and join them on their quest to survive and reunite with loved ones. We uncover secrets and as things come to fruition the overwhelming bond of friendship and love is prevalent. Particularly in their voyage on the Wilhem Gustloff.

This historical fiction novel took me on a whirlwind adventure filled with love, secrets, grief and guilt. It is nothing like I have ever read before and has encouraged me to read more of Ruta Sepetys’ work. It was beautiful, I gave it five stars and I highly recommend it for anyone.

You can visit my goodreads here:

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