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Dramatic,
Informative,
Brilliant

12 reviews

Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys

Published: 2017-08-01
Paperback : 448 pages
26 members reading this now
60 clubs reading this now
11 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 12 of 12 members
#1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the Carnegie Medal! 

"A superlative novel . . . masterfully crafted."--The Wall Street Journal

Based on "the forgotten tragedy that was six times deadlier than the Titanic."--Time

Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories.

Each one born of a ...
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Introduction

#1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the Carnegie Medal! 

"A superlative novel . . . masterfully crafted."--The Wall Street Journal

Based on "the forgotten tragedy that was six times deadlier than the Titanic."--Time

Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies, war. As thousands desperately 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. But not all promises can be kept . . .

This paperback edition includes book club questions and exclusive interviews with Wilhelm Gustloff survivors and experts.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

joana

Guilt is a hunter.

My conscience mocked me, picking fights like a petulant child.

It’s all your fault, the voice whispered.

I quickened my pace and caught up with our small group. The Germans would march us off the field road if they found us. Roads were reserved for the military. Evacuation orders hadn’t been issued and anyone fleeing East Prussia was branded a deserter. But what did that matter? I became a deserter four years ago, when I fled from Lithuania. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Salt to the Sea is told in multiple first-person narratives. How do you think this literary method strengthens the story? If only one character had been chosen to narrate, which would you choose and why?

Considering each of the main characters’ perspectives, in what ways is Salt to the Sea a story about things that have been lost? What does each character find along the way?

As the novel opens, readers are introduced to refrain of "a hunter.” What roles do guilt, fate, shame and fear play in the characters’ respective lives?

How is the character of Alfred different in his letters to Hannelore compared to how he is perceived by others? What does this dual perspective say about his character?

What is the significance of the title Salt to the Sea?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Ruta Sepetys Uncovers Another Lost Piece of History"by bkmnmpl (see profile) 05/24/21

I highly recommend this book.

 
by hmanbeck (see profile) 09/22/20

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 07/01/20

Nicely written from three perspectives on a chapter of WW II history I’ve never heard about before.

 
by DLThompson06 (see profile) 06/09/20

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 06/29/19

I loved this book. Especially that it was historical fiction.

 
by JillianPhoenix (see profile) 01/28/19

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