The Fountains of Silence
by Ruta Sepetys
Hardcover- $12.99

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, unforgettable portrait ...

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/20/19

  "Interesting book about the Spanish Civil War and its after effects." by thewanderingjew (see profile) 01/28/20

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys-Author, Narrator, Maite Jauregui, Richard Ferrone, Neil Hellegers, Joshua Kane, Liza Kaplan, Oliver Wyman, Narrators.
In the author’s own words, she believes the future is in the hands of the youth, not the adults. The power to change resides with the young who will face it. This book covers many decades, beginning with the rise of Francisco Franco and continuing through his reign, ending with his death and a short period thereafter in which the country is reformed from a dictatorship into a more democratic regime.
Daniel Madison is in Spain with his parents. His father has dealings with the dictator, Franco. His father is involved in the oil industry and the family is quite wealthy. The father is also involved with the government of the United States and is following the accepted practices of foreign policy. They are staying at a hotel in Madrid.
When the book opens, Rafael Moreno is at his job working for a butcher. He sells blood to the ladies so they can make their sausage. He and his friend love the bullfights and his friend is training for an amateur exhibition. He is hoping to be recognized so he can be officially trained. In a moment of weakness, Rafa does something that he believes is the cause of his father’s death. His parents were involved in the Spanish Revolution, but not on the side of Franco. As a result, their lives were always in danger, and they were very poor. Rafael is Ana Torres Moreno’s brother. Ana works in a hotel. It is a coveted job because it pays a decent wage and affords opportunity to advance. Ana and her siblings have many secrets. Both of their parents have been murdered and they are trying to survive. Ana’s older sister is in charge of the family’s future.
Daniel is staying at the hotel where Ana works. She is assigned to assist his family. Daniel is immediately smitten by her, as she is by him. However, dare she dream of a relationship with a gentleman from such a different world than hers? As their relationship grows, the history of the Revolution, the time of Franco’s rule, the effect on the populace for and against him, the relationship of Spain with the rest of the world, and other historic perspectives are revealed and examined.
There is much to enjoy in the book, but I found this particular novel less enjoyable than others by this author. It seemed less of a crossover novel, for which she is known, and more of a Cinderella-like fairytale with history thrown into the mix. While it exposed the corruption and violence of Franco’s regime and the complicity of the United States which enabled his despotic rule, including random murders, the kidnapping of newborns (informing the mother her child died, although it was well), to sell to others deemed more fit to raise a child, the random murders of people considered enemies of the state, the continued punishing and deprivation of the ancestors of the revolutionaries, and while it explained the influence of the Church and the superstitions that informed the masses who were not well educated, it seemed written for a juvenile audience, only. The history and famous names mentioned were interesting and informative, with bits of knowledge imparted that I had not known, but some of it was confused by the reading of the footnotes concerning this information, which was interjected into the narrative in the audio without warning.
The author has written other books based on her own history. This one, however, is based on the Spanish Civil War and the period that followed. She researched it well. Her books generally appeal to both young and old, but this one, I think, will appeal more to the young. The narrative will enthrall romantic teens, on the more naïve side. The historic narrative should, however, appeal to both teens and adults. I did not completely enjoy or appreciate the main narrator’s interpretation of some of the characters since she presented an interpretation different than mine, however, overall, the narrators performed well, delineating each character in a unique way and the book is very much worth a read.

  "" by Christie Lambert (see profile) 05/01/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/17/20

  "Historical Fiction wrapped around a love story" by TravelBling (see profile) 07/19/20

The real-life era of Franco was less than ideal for his opponents. Wrap that gut-wrenching story with a romantic interest and you have a fascinating read.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/30/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/23/21

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/21/23

I loved this book. It was fast paced and drew me into the story. I am going to Spain in November. This book helped me to learn more about the history.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/27/23

  "Not Only for Young Adults" by ebach (see profile) 01/05/24

Of the four Ruta Sepetys books that I've read, I would rank THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE as her best. All four of the books bring light to history that is not widely known. But THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE is even more than that. It is unputdownable, a book that I did not want to end.

18-year-old Daniel and Ana (about the same age) meet when he is visiting Spain with his parents in 1957. Franco is dictator there, and Daniel's father, an oil businessman, has come to make a deal with him. Ana is their hotel maid. Daniel is an aspiring photographer. He takes many pictures of life as it really is for the people living under Franco and his regime.

So you would think these two main characters and their quick romance is what this book is about. But I found the main subject of THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE is really the approximately 300,000 babies who were stolen from their parents and sold to adoptive parents. Sure, we meet Ana's brother and sister and cousin, each with their own story, but they all come down to this, the babies stolen from parents who the government deemed unsuitable, "Red."

Although THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE is classified as young adult, as are all Sepetys novels, she is a "crossover" author, and adults as well as young adults will enjoy and benefit from this book.

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