Salt to the Sea

  • by Ruta Sepetys
  • Narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
  • 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - Young Adult
For readers of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, international best-selling author Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating - yet unknown - tragedies.
In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country nor culture nor status matters as all 10,000 people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
Told in alternating points of view and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's critically acclaimed number-one New York Times best seller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff- the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

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What the Critics Say

"Ruta Sepetys is a master of historical fiction. In Salt to the Sea the hard truths of her herculean research are tempered with effortless, intimate storytelling, as her warm and human characters breathe new life into one of the world's most terrible and neglected tragedies." (Elizabeth Wein, New York Times best-selling author of Printz Award Honor Book Code Name Verity)
"A rich, page-turning story that brings to vivid life a terrifying - and little-known - moment in World War II history." (Steve Sheinkin, author of Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist Bomb)
"Brutal. Beautiful. Honest." (Sabaa Tahir, New York Times best-selling author of An Ember in the Ashes)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A truly 5* book

Would you listen to Salt to the Sea again? Why?

Yes. I listened to the book twice. It was like I didn't want to let go of the characters


What was one of the most memorable moments of Salt to the Sea?

The ending had me in tears


Which scene did you most enjoy?

The sinking of the ship was so dramatic. I felt I was with the people all the way.


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me cry especially at the end. I was sad and yet happy that at least one person had got home to rest in peace.


Any additional comments?

This was a wonderful story. I know the main characters were fictional but the truth of what happened to so many ofl these people has been kept quiet all these years. Such a well written book. I have recommended it to others,

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- Hazel McKinnon

Great book - average production

I thought the decision to use actors with very strong (rather grating) American accents an odd one given the emphasis in the book given to the characters' disparate backgrounds. However that's partly person preference.

However what really really irritated was at least two of the actors pronouncing 'buoyed' as 'boo-eeyed' as if they'd never hear the word said aloud before. Definitely the kind of detail that should be picked up during the production process.

Great story though.
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- J. Grear

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-02-2016
  • Publisher: Listening Library