The Fountains of Silence

Ruta Sepetys

Penguin Books

June2021

$16.99 AU

500p pb

ISBN: 978-0241421857

fp October 2019

from Penguin Books...

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 . . .

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Madrid 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco many are suffering and desperate for money. Ana is a hotel maid working tirelessly to provide for her family who are living in poverty. While she is working there, she meets Daniel, a young American man who is hoping to discover Spain through his photography, however, the more he gets to know the country (and Ana) the more he uncovers about the horrors of the fascist regime.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys is historical-fiction with elements of romance and mystery. The novel will appeal to lovers of historical romance and anyone who is interested in the aftermath of World War II and wants to learn about countries not usually represented in mainstream fiction. Sepetys creates a rich and immersive interpretation of Spain but doesn’t shy away from the dark conditions that face the characters. This book would be best suited to readers over the age of 14 as it deals with potentially upsetting themes based on true events. The story and setting are quite complex which would be better appreciated by older readers. The Fountains of Silence was an interesting read that made me curious to know more about fascist Spain and I am glad I read it and learnt more about I topic I knew nothing about previously. The Fountains of Silence has been short listed for the Carnegie Medal.

Niamh, age 15

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