Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Chronicling the end of World War II and a massive catastrophe that has been overlooked in history, this story follows four individuals and some of their companions as they band together in the hopes of surviving and reaching safety. Florian is a Prussian with a secret that he keeps in his pack, Joana is a Lithuanian girl who has become a nurse, Emilia is a Polish girl who is carrying secrets of her own and Alfred is a German sailor who has been drafted very late in the war.
I picked up this book after one of my students said that it made her cry and I decided that it was exactly what I needed to enjoy on a rainy day in May. It didn't disappoint. All the characters are real and you will feel for their struggles. The cover art of empty life preservers floating on a choppy sea makes you realize that many of them are likely doomed in some way or another.
In the end, it is a hopeful book that I was glad to have read.
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