Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Summary: Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.
Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.
As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.
Yet not all promises can be kept.
Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.
Another amazing novel from Ruta!
I read Between Shades Of Gray by her earlier this month and really enjoyed it! After reading this novel however, I would have to say this one is my favorite.
Told in multiple POV, this novel follows Joana, Florian, Emilia, and Alfred and their journey as they try to escape from German forces. What made the overall story easy to get into was the fact that each chapter was 3-5 pages max!
Each character had their own secrets and pasts, but through each POV we learn more about the war from different angles and how it has impacted them!
What I loved about this book was the writing style. It was so beautiful and you really feel immersed into this time period.
Out of all the POVs, my favorites were Florian and Joana’s!
The relationship that develops between them was wonderfully done and you can see they really care about helping each other and the other refugees that are part of their group.
The plot was wonderfully developed.
The characters are trying to leave East Prussia, while avoiding the German forces, while harboring secrets of their own.
Emilia was pregnant w/ a child, Florian was harboring a piece of Nazi art, and Emilia was guilty of leaving her cousin behind.
The characters reveal secrets as the story progresses, but are shared at the perfect moment and really paints an overall picture of the war in Europe during this time
While at some points the pacing was a little slow, the quick chapters definitely help the story move along.
If you are looking for another YA-Historical Fiction to add to your list, I highly recommend this one!