From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.
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.
Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.
Wow. Once again Ruta Sepetys has left me speechless. Ruta is one of my favorite authors and story tellers. I have read all of her books, and each one has told a beautiful story about forgotten moments of history. The Fountains of Silence is no exception.
Ruta Sepetys is one of the most gifted authors I have encountered. She writes historical fiction and chooses subjects that aren’t pretty or romanticized. Sepetys is always able to craft a captivating and beautiful story that shines light into dark moments of the past. With each of Sepetys books, I have learned something. The Fountains of Silence, like Between Shades of Grey, Out of the Easy, and Salt to the Sea, showed me periods or aspects of history that I didn’t know anything or very little about. I knew some vague information about the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s rule, but I never delved into the true stories and trauma of this time. Sepetys was able to create a beautiful story that seamlessly integrated the history and truth of what Spain was like at the time. It felt authentic every step of the way. You can tell that Sepetys didn’t choose this subject for shock and awe. She puts in the work and research and it shows in her incredible storytelling. I learned so much, and this book has inspired me to learn more about the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s rule.
The Fountains of Silence shows Ruta Sepetys’ incredible power of storytelling. The Fountains of Silence follows four main characters as they navigate life in Madrid, Spain. There’s Ana and Rafa, a brother and sister whose parents were part of the Republican movement against Franco, their cousin, Puri, and an American visitor named Daniel. Each of these characters lives intersect in different ways. Each is vital to the story and shows a different aspect of this period in Spain. One of my favorite parts is seeing Spain through Daniel’s photography. Sepetys was able to expertly describe what Daniel was seeing and photographing so that I could perfectly visualize the images in my mind. This elevated the already spectacular book.
One thing you can always expect from Ruta Sepetys’ books is an epic love story. The Fountains of Silence delivers another beautiful romance between two of the characters. Sepetys writes romance so well. She is able to create a love story that is vital to the plot, but never distracts or overshadows the rest of the story.
Ruta Sepetys has once again created a stunning book that is a great story, but also an importance piece of literature. The Fountains of Silence delves into a tumultuous time in Spain’s history. It shows the trauma and tragedy of the time, but also the hope and resilience of the Spanish people. The Fountains of Silence was a masterpiece and it will forever be a part of me.
HUGE THANK YOU to Ruta Sepetys, Penguin, and Philomel Books for providing this advanced readers copy of The Fountains of Silence at Book Expo.