sail-header-edge

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: A review by Conrad Simpson

Matt Turpin
Tue 16 May, 2017

Conrad Simpson, as well as the recent winner of the Nottingham Young Creative award for film (13-15 age group) is also an avid reader and writer. Here, he tells us his thoughts on Salt to the Sea by Rupta Sepetys:

Salt to the Sea is less fiction than it is archaeology. Sepetys’ impeccably researched story about the ‘Grandest Maritime Disaster in History’ sheds light on an untouched event. 1500 people died in the Titanic, 9000 people died on the Wilhelm Gustloff; the fact that the sinking of the Titanic is better known is a significant message, making the reader think about the world of WW2.

As well as the overlooked disaster, Ruta follows the overlooked victims of the countries in between Russia and Germany, used as a stomping ground by both sides. She structures the book in an individual way, that never feels like a gimmick. Each character is followed individually in their own chapter chronologically throughout the book.


“ One character in particular is seemingly put in just to emphasise that it is both the Nazis and The Red Army who are the villains. ”

While this may be skilfully done, having four main characters highlights the weaker development of some in comparison to others.

While this may be skilfully done, having four main characters highlights the weaker development of some in comparison to others. One character in particular is seemingly put in just to emphasise that it is both the Nazis and The Red Army who are the villains. This character’s story doesn’t conclude successfully and feels more like the character and writer just gave up. The reveal isn’t impactful or satisfying, and you are left to care little for what happens to them, due to the characters not demanding any sense of empathy from the reader.

Another criticism is that, as with any well-researched story, there is a lot of exposition in the first third of the book. This makes that particular part of the story a chore to read. However, I can overlook its flaws and instead observe its interesting story, realistic detail, and respect for the source material. 4/5.

This character’s story doesn’t conclude successfully and feels more like the character and writer just gave up. The reveal isn’t impactful or satisfying, and you are left to care little for what happens to them, due to the characters not demanding any sense of empathy from the reader.

Another criticism is that, as with any well-researched story, there is a lot of exposition in the first third of the book. This makes that particular part of the story a chore to read. However, I can overlook its flaws and instead observe its interesting story, realistic detail, and respect for the source material. 4/5.

http://rutasepetys.com/books/s...


This post is tagged in

review books Book review;

Make your voice heard. Be a contributor

Got something to say? Want to add your voice to the growing Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature community? Great, we’re always on the lookout for fresh contributions. Apply today and we’ll get right back to you

Apply to contribute

Search