I love books that take me to a time in history that I do not know very much about. Ruta Sepetys has been the champion of that for me with her beautiful writing and compelling stories. She does this again in The Fountains of Silence by taking me on a journey through post-war Spain and the secrets and changes that effect everyone .
The Fountains of Silence starts in Spain during the 1950s. It is a time of post-civil war and the nation is currently under the dictatorship of facing General Franco. Spain is in need of money and it is agreed that they will reopen for tourists and business deals. 18 year old Daniel Matheson is one of these tourists. His father is there on a business deal and his mother is there revisiting her homeland. The family is staying at a luxury hotel and Ana is the maid assigned to them. She is basically at the beck and call which allows her to spend time with Daniel, a young man who captivates her and scares her with the possibility of change.
Ana is an intelligent girl but has been through alot in her young life. She is working at the hotel to help her family make ends meet. Her family is trying their best to stay under the radar and not provoke anyone so that no one will come around asking questions. Ana and Daniel come from different backgrounds but are easily attracted to each other. Their dynamic is very sweet and made me smile. They connect through photography, conversation, and secrets. So many secrets that they are keeping for each other and for themselves.
They’re not the only ones with secrets. The Fountain of Silence is filled with the underlying secrets of this regime. These are secrets that will have long lasting affects and will forever change a family. Some of these secrets are kept for safety, some are kept for leverage, and some are discovered when they shouldn’t be. Ruta Sepetys writes these secrets with a sense of humanity for such a dark time in history. These secrets are heartbreaking and are representative of the fear, desperation, and pain of the regime. They also connect Daniel and Ana in long lasting ways that they never expected.
I was fully pulled into the world of Spain during the 1950s. I loved how all the stories were interconnected and how this created a puzzle for people to put back together. Unfortunately, the puzzle was put together too quickly for me during the second part. A bombshell of a secret is revealed and within a few chapters is appears that everything was taken care of. I would have liked a more in depth take on this bombshell that has an impact on all of the characters within the story. All in all though, The Fountains of Silence is another Ruta Sepetys winner for me. I looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
Rating: 4 Stars