Book 39 is the audiobook that I had mentioned in my last post, the one that is emotionally draining. There is a reason for that. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is a book about refugees from Prussia who were trying to make it to the safety of Germany during WW2 when Germany was loosing to Russia. It is also about one of the greatest maritime disasters of all time, just as bad if not worst then the Titanic.
So the book follows 4 teens, each from different nationalities and each confronting their own stance in a war that none of them started. Joana is a half German, half Lithuanian who was sent away from medical training trying to get back home. She is the beginning of the journey, the reader meets her first. Out of everyone, she is the one who seems to be the most reasonable. Florian is a Prussian who was working with the section of the Nazi’s who were stealing the art of Europe. He started the job thinking he was helping to preserve the art but realized that he was helping to steal it and decides to take a piece of art that Hitler would want, a piece from the Amber Room. This was his reassurance that he would left alone as long as he made it out of Prussia without anyone finding out who he was and what he had done. Emilia is a Polish girl who is 16 and pregnant from Russians who assaulted her while she was with a family in Prussia. She is the most vulnerable out of all the characters and the youngest. And finally, there is Alfred, the German solider who is a sociopath (character’s words, not mine but I agree with the character).
So, this book is not for the week minded. I decided to listen to it instead of reading it because I felt that I would have more motivation. I put off books that I dread and I knew this book would be sad and I just didn’t want to read a sad book. Why did I read, or in this case listen, to a book that I would dread? It’s part of the popsugar reading challenge. I must read a book about immigrants or refugees and this seemed to be interesting. No matter what, I knew that reading about refugees would be sad (and I chose refugees because it is something that I couldn’t even fathom being removed from my home because of a war and I like to see new and different experiences when reading). When I say this book is not for the week minded, the author does a fantastic job of showing the horrors of war and the causalities are often the innocent, not the soldiers that fight the war. I know fantastic makes it seem like a good thing, and it is. Not the causalities of war, but the ability to make people see through words war and it’s horrors. It takes a lot of talent to be able to do that and I admire Sepetys for her writing.
The audiobook for Salt to the Sea is really amazing. The people who read the book (a different person per perspective) are really talented. They add the personality of each character, so much that you believe their voice is the one of the character they are reading for. It was definitely an experience listening to this book.
So all in all, this book was definitely worth the experience and I do recommend it to anyone who loves history. It is heart wrenching but the book is amazing. You hope for a happy ending knowing this book is about a tragedy. Well that is it for this book. See you next book.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.