The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: four stars
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Goodreads Summary: Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.
I read this for the November Barnes and Noble YA Book Club. To be honest, historical fiction is not my favorite genre, I have only read a couple books of this genre because they tend to be too serious for me. However, I really liked this book and am so glad that I picked it up!
Likes: I love the romance in this book. The two characters are so adorable, and together they just warmed my heart. It is such an innocent romance and I love how nervous and shy they are around each other. How their affection blooms throughout the book is so sweet to read about. I also liked the different POVs in this book. This book follows several different characters and I loved learning about each of them. At first they seem to not relate to each other, but as the story goes on their lives start to weave together. I also love how much I learned about Spain during this time. To be honest, I didn’t know much about what happened with Spain during this time, and it was extremely eye opening to read about. Some of the events that were occurring were so horrific, and I think that Ruta did a great job making her story eventful and informative. I also liked the different forms of story telling in this book. Ruta included articles, quotes from world leaders at the time, photos, and more. This made the book so much more interactive and added elements that I don’t see in many stories.
Dislikes: For me there wasn’t really anything that I disliked. The characters were believable, the relationships were adorable, the storyline was deep and informative, and the pacing was great.
Overall, I did give it four out of five stars because I didn’t LOVE the book. Again, historical fiction isn’t my favorite genre, and while I did like this book a lot and found it very interesting, I can’t say that it is one of my favorite books, which five stars is reserved for. I still think that everyone should read this because it is an incredible book and to understand more about the history of Spain and what was going on at the time.
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