History has a lot of stories about famous ships sinking and a number of people dying. There is the history of the Titanic where 1,500 people died. There is also the history of the Lusitania where 1,100 people were killed. We have all heard of those two ship wreaks. What about a ship sinking that killed over 9,000 people? Have you ever heard of the Wilhelm Gustloff? I sure hadn't before I read Salt to the Sea and I am a former history teacher.
Salt to the Sea is the story of four people traveling through a war torn Germany during World War 2. The Russians are attacking parts of The country killing people in their way. The characters in this story are all running for their lives. The book focuses on four main character. These characters include: Joana, Alfred, Emilia, and Florian. Joana is a former nurse who helps injured people throughout the story. Emilia is a young polish girl who has a strange pregnancy. Florian is a young man full of secrets and Alfred is a German soilder. Ruta Sepetys takes the reader on a journey with each of the characters until they all interact with each other.
This is seriously one of my favorite historical fiction books. Sepetys' character development helps the reader to identify with each character in the story. The style of each chapter focusing on one of the main characters also makes for a fast read. This is just one of those books that you do not want to put down once you pick it up. I highly recommend Salt to the Sea to you all. If I could, I would give this book a 100 stars but I give it a 5 out of 5.