SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys

A book recommendation…

Let’s start with this: it’s a young adult novel. But by now you may have learned that many of the books written for teens are vastly superior to the often plodding modern fiction for adults. Or, say you just need a break from Ulysses, or Moby Dick, or Infinite Jest. YA fiction must move quickly and engage the reader immediately and this book does exactly that. Secondly, this is a book of historical fiction and it is about a tragedy that you probably never heard of: 9,000 people died in the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff off the Baltic Sea in 1945. More than the Titanic, more than the Lusitania. Well done story told from the viewpoint of four young adults fleeing out of Germany and from the Soviet advance at the end of World War II. “…German censorship, Soviet suppression, and Western indifference buried the Gustloff’s story.” Don’t take MY word for it, Ruta Sepetys and Salt to the Sea have won so many awards it will make your head spin.


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