The Fountains of Silence


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A haunting and romantic novel set in post-war Spain by Ruta Sepetys - winner of the Carnegie Medal 2017. Madrid, 1957. Daniel, young, wealthy and unsure of his place in the world, views the city through the lens of his camera. Ana, a hotel maid whose family is suffering under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco. Lives and hearts collide as they unite to uncover the hidden darkness within the city. A darkness that could engulf them all . . . Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history's ...

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Jul 27, 2020

Richly woven historical fiction

This is my first book by this author and it won't be my last. The writing style is lyrical and sprinkled expertly with historical facts and Spanish vocabulary, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed as I learned about a historical time and place I knew nothing about until reading this novel, and the Spanish words were easy to interpret contextually.

The author's research notes showed me the in-depth look she took into this time and place, even visiting and interviewing people at the hotel and meeting people who lived during the dictatorship.

The characters are ones I fell in love with and they popped out of history and became real. The friendships, family drama, romance, social struggles, and cultural differences between Americans and Spaniards made this a favorite book of 2019 for me.

Angelique M

Oct 1, 2019

Secrets in Spain

I thoroughly enjoyed Between Shades of Grey and Salt to the Sea. In fact they are two of the novels I most often recommend, so I had high expectations for the latest book by Ruta Sepetys. I'm happy to say it met them.

Like those other two books, this one sheds a light on a hidden part of history, but it does so more gradually.

Like in Salt to the Sea, there were multiple narrators. I felt they were all necessary for the telling of this story, and I liked them all, though initially I found one less sympathetic than the others.

The danger the characters faced here was not as overt as in the other books, but there was a tension, a sense of it lingering in the air. And while I'd describe the other two novels as being about a struggle to survive, I'd describe this one as being about a struggle to live, for what kind of life is it if you can't ask questions or even hope for anything better?

I enjoyed this and have already recommended it. I'm thankful for the early read from BookishFirst, and I liked it so much that I've purchased the hardback.

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