I received a free extract of the first eight chapters of The Fountains of Silence from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. But this intriguing story drew me in so completely from the very first page and I immediately rooted so much for the two main characters, Daniel and Ana, that I couldn’t just stop after the extract but needed to read the rest of the book straight away. This is therefore a review of the whole book, which I bought myself, and read in one sitting.
The Fountains of Silence is a beautiful, romantic, sad but hopeful, honest and gripping historic gem by Ruta Sepetys. It is set in postwar Spain, and takes us on a journey into the dark and secret life under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco in the late 1950s. The story is told from several POVs, but with the eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson - the aspiring photographer son of a Texas oil tycoon - and Ana Torres Moreno - who works as a maid at the hotel where Daniel and his parents are staying - as the two main characters.
When Franco opens the door to American business men to invest in his country, the Mathesons take the chance to do oil business and to connect with the country of Daniel’s mother. Hoping to win a prestigious photography contest, Daniel tries to discover the real Spain through the lens of his camera, with Ana as his guide. Via his encounters with Ana’s family and friends and their interweaving obstacles, Daniel (and we readers) learn more of the fears and hidden horrors and brutality of Franco’s Spain, including a parallel story of stolen babies.
I loved all of the characters in this book and the multiple POVs that truly brought the story to life. Daniel was such a sweetheart; so genuinely kindhearted, eager to learn and caring. And I completely rooted for Ana, wanting to rescue her from her hard and brutal reality. But besides Daniel and Ana, there were so many other memorable and real characters in this book as well; Ana’s family members who all had at least two jobs each to try and keep the family together after their parents were executed by France, bull fighter Fuga who dared to dream big, journalist Ben who became a mentor to Daniel, and American ambassador son Nick with much more depth beneath his party animal impression and many others.
What I love about Ruty Sepetys’s books is that she always mixes the darkness with light, always shows the best and worst of humanity at the same time, always gives you so many wonderful characters you immediately fall in love with and hope and romance in the midst of the horrors. Compared to her previous books, The Fountains of Silence is perhaps not quite as devastating and heart-breaking, but it is nevertheless a powerful and gripping story of love, loss and the hidden violence of silence under a dictatorship. It’s a book that deeply touched my heart, and with characters that will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read the extract and find this unforgettable book!
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Wesley Chu Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez