Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2016
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"As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war's final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull"--
Publisher: New York :, Philomel Books,, [2016]
ISBN: 9780147525468
Characteristics: 1 online resource,digital
audio file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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InsJavert
Dec 02, 2016

The author chose a little know terrible event to weave a very gripping story. The real event was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea near the end of WWII, in which as many as 9,000 people drowned, mostly children, to date the most costly ship sinking in recorded history.

The story begins with a rag tag group of people, fleeing the ravages of the war around them as the Russian army is encircling the repeating Nazi army. The refugees are the victims caught in the middle. The Russian army is brutal and savage. The Germany army is mercilessly practical, only allowing evacuations only at the last moment.

The cast of characters selected to weave this story, adds to, and brings to life, what and who all these people where, what they had to suffer to escape from the Russians, and the horrific impact the war had on the everyday person. The author did her homework and uses the facts, devastation, brutality of war and its impact on people who are just simply trying to survive and live.

If only you can get to the port to board a ship. If only you can manage to be one of the very few who gets a boarding pass, them maybe, just maybe, you can live another day. But first you have to evade the Russians who will kill you for a watch and any woman, especially young woman, will be savageidly and brutally raped. The Germany army who eyes everyone with suspicion and if you are not of the right heritage, will be discarded if not killed right then and there. The real terror, all this involved children, as their parents had already been killed, forced into labor, are were conscripted into the army.

This is not a story for the faint hearted as the brutality of war is vividly portrayed. The cost of surviving day to day is unimaginable, especially to Americans. The hope these people clung to, so frail and so easily taken away, but tenaciously held on to, because that is all these people had left. The selfishness of living, not caring a thing to your fellow human being, because they would kill you for the slightest reason and certainly don't care about you, for they just want to live, live another day.

The last thin thread of hope is put to the final test when the fate of the Wilhelm Gustloff as well as these refugees comes to a finally. It is not a happy ending.

This book was gripping and shocking. I knew nothing of the real maritime tragedy until reading this book. It is against the backdrop of this horror and the cost of lives that this story brings this real event to the public. There is very little pleasant or happy in this book. It is dark, brutal, and real. It is not overdone, it is not overly graphic, but it is cold and blunt.

I think what touched me so deeply about this book; the hope these people had, to have it so savagely ripped from them at the cost of their lives.

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InsJavert
Dec 02, 2016

InsJavert thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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