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Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens, Gillen D'Arcy Wood
Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants
Louie Giglio
Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet
Lyndal Roper
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
Mark Batterson
1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation
Peter Marshall
House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown
Nathen Amin

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea - Ruta Sepetys

What a wonderful, beautiful book!


There is so much that I enjoyed about this. I love that it put a spotlight on an almost unknown tragedy of epic proportions, and in the process it exposed the misery that German leadership put their own people through during World War II. It is told through the eyes of teenagers, but it is not your typical YA. It is a story of survival, not dystopian romance, but real struggle where people die and bad things happen. Many YA authors have stopped holding back when it comes to sexual content for young readers, but Sepetys has given them something that is so much more valuable in this moving novel.


I listened to this on audiobook. Therefore, I was a little afraid at first that I would not be able to keep track of the variety of points of view that are immediately introduced. The stories and personalities are quickly established, and this turned out to be not a problem at all. Each character became someone I cared about, even though (or maybe because of) knowing their darkest secrets and regrets.


The story of the Wilhelm Gustloff is the kind of thing that you just can't make up & can't believe actually happened. If nothing else, this book should be read for the history that it exposes through the fictional characters' stories.