Salt to the Sea (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In 1945, as Germany fell, refugees and Germans alike streamed towards the Polish coast to evacuate across the Baltic Sea ahead of the invading Russians.  The evacuation was called Operation Hannibal.  One ship, the Wilhelm Gustloff, carried almost 10,000 passengers--more than half of them children--and was torpedoed by a Russian submarine, becoming the largest maritime disaster in history.  Sepetys has created a masterful story, incliuding historical detail that grounds readers in those terrible moments.  Told in four voices, this stunning novel allows readers to not only bear witness to the loss of so many, but also celebrate the humanity that may be found even in wartime.

— Cathy


#1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the Carnegie Medal

"A superlative novel . . . masterfully crafted."--The Wall Street Journal

Based on "the forgotten tragedy that was six times deadlier than the Titanic."--Time

Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies, war. As thousands desperately flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. But not all promises can be kept . . .

This paperback edition includes book club questions and exclusive interviews with Wilhelm Gustloff survivors and experts.

About the Author

Ruta Sepetys ( was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. She is the award-winning, bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy. Ruta lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow her on Twitter at @RutaSepetys.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780142423622
ISBN-10: 0142423629
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017
Pages: 448
Language: English