This is a powerful book by author Ruta Sepetys. It earned a number 1 spot on the NYT bestselling novel list, and it’s no surprise. Sepetys took a little-discussed maritime tragedy during a volatile time period and created four different teenagers with very distinct voices and experiences who get thrown together by tragic circumstances. The book includes male and female(Emilia and Joana) perspectives, and I dare you not to find at least one character to connect with.
The back reads:
Winter, 1945. Lithuania, East Prussia, Germany, Poland.
Four teenagers. Four secrets. Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.
As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast seeking to escape the chaos and terror of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises can be kept.
Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.