THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE by Ruta Sepetys
Sepetys writes teens beautifully and accurately. Her teens are impetuous, naïve, full hearted, empathetic, selfish, quick thinking and foolhardy. THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE tells of teens caught up in the tyrannical world of General Francisco Franco in the aftermath of the Spanish Revolution of 1939.
In 1957 as Spain was beginning to open up to the outside world, a family of American citizens, including their teenage son, entered Franco’s world. Daniel, a camera buff who wants to become a photojournalist, meets Ana, his family’s assigned maid. Ana’s family, formerly professors and Republicans, has been decimated by the Nationalists.
Through Daniel and Ana, Sepetys tells of tyranny, torture, death and bull fighting, friendship, kindness and a people’s yearning for freedom.
As good historical fiction does, she teaches us painlessly the truths of dictators and freedom fighters and the good people caught between them. Written for teens, this book will resonate with adults as well. It offers a multitude of topics for book group discussion. This is an altogether worthy read.
5 of 5 stars