It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across East Prussia, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories.
This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned.
Must Read – 5 stars
Published February 4th 2016
Read from 21st to 22nd February
This was an unbelievable story. I don’t tend to read that many wartime books but they always affect me. This was something completely different because it told the story of an unknown tragedy.
It felt strange but while this was happening I keep thinking about The Bronze Horseman and what was happening in that so it just felt all the more real because I started bringing other aspects into it.
I really like how the multiple perspectives were used to build up the story and the picture. It also was made more real by the side characters and the emotional connection that you built. It’s such a hard story to read but at the same time you can’t put it down because you want to be there for those characters and go through it with them.
I loved being with the characters and learning their back stories because as much as the war is the main subject the more important thing is the characters and their journey and experience. Although these may not be real people you know that during this time people were going through so many of these emotions and struggles.
I especially loved reading Joana and Florian’s views and how their connection and relationship built throughout the story. It was nice to see how others impacted on their lives.
I know I haven’t written much but everyone should read this because it’s something that we are not exposed to and should learn about the unknowns.