Historical Fiction, Romance, World War II and Young adult
“It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across East Prussia, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed.”
Joana: I connected with Joana the most throughout this novel. She has a medical/nurse background and all she really wants to do, even though she would have to take care of herself first in certain situations, is taking care of others. She makes sure everyone is taken care of and are as comfortable as possible. She is the mother of the group.
Emilia: She is such a sweet girl and all she is looking for is someone she feels safe with. Emilia has been though a lot in her short life and that is also why she is looking for a ‘knight’ in this time. She comes from Poland which makes her a treat to the group, but she is allowed to stay with them, and she does what she can to keep the group safe.
Florian: In the beginning is he a mystery. You only know his name because it is on top of his chapters, he keeps his name and where he is from or for that matter everything a secret. He is on a mission he has put upon himself and all he wants is to be alone.
Alfred: At the beginning of this book I felt sorry for Alfred. He is a Nazi soldier and so I thought, he doesn’t know better. But as the book continued and you were getting to see more and more of his thoughts and actions, I started to dislike him more and more. He is a lovely unlikable character.
This novel is written in multiple POV’s, but every character has his or her own voice. The four POV’s are the four characters I talked about. Every chapter is pretty short but still you are with the character of that chapter within the first line. And because the chapters are short you read another one and another one, before you know it you are half way through the novel. I also really loved the world building in this novel and the event which was chosen.
I finished the last 60 pages in like half an hour, I was on the edge of my seat and very scared what would happen to the characters I cared so much for. My feelings were destroyed and if I think about the ending right now I can still get emotional. The ending was full of tension and action and tear provoking moments, and I loved every single letter of it. When I was finished this book I took the time to let all the tears come out which I tried to hold in, so I could read on.
After reading this novel, I ordered the rest of Ruta Sepetys’ novel, so I think that explains my how I feel about this novel. I absolutely loved it! I still keep thinking about it. The characters were so well crafted and the world as well. The way an unknown historical event was taken and put into a story is wonderful. Throughout the whole novel I was wondering what would happen and I was scared for the lives of the characters I came to care about.
- Multiple POV’s, each character has an own voice
- Wonderful characters and world building
- Short chapter
- Fast paced
- And unlikable character. I know that this can be a con for some people, so that is why I am putting it by the cons, even though the way he was executed was definitely a pro, and I don’t mind unlikable characters.
Overall rating: 5/5 stars
Have you read this book or another book by Ruta Sepetys? What is your opinion on it? Btw, this was a wonderful blind book date 😛