The Fountains of Silence
Book cover
Author(s): Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Copyright Year: 2019
ISBN/ISSN: 9780399160318
Review

In 1957, 18-year-old Daniel Matheson travels with his parents to his mother's homeland of Spain. His father is a Texas oil tycoon and wishes for his son to follow in his footsteps, but Daniel has his own ideas about his future. Using his newfound talent as a photojournalist to chronicle Franco-era Spain, Daniel hopes to win the Magnum Photography Prize and further his studies in this field. Through the eye of his camera lens he observes poverty, the beauty of the country, a scandal at an orphanage, a matador, and more. But, mainly he sees the social inequity of life in a fascist dictatorship. He also finds love with a beautiful hotel maid, Ana. Unfortunately, the differences in their lives keep them apart. This richly woven historical fiction brings to life the tumultuous time period in which Spain was ruled by General Francisco Franco. It will keep young adults as well as adults interested from the first page to the last and will lend itself well to great discussions on types of governments as well as European history during and after World War II. The book is well researched and includes a glossary, photographs, and an extensive bibliography. Most of all, the main characters draw you in with their stories and will leave you wishing for more.

Reviewer: Nancy Hawkins, School Librarian, Franklin County High School, Brookville, IN
Rating: Highly Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 9-12
Review Date: October 1, 2019
Product Description
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into the country under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera. Photography--and fate--introduce him to Ana, whose family's interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War--as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel's photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history's darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence--inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain.
Includes vintage media interstitials, oral history commentary, photos, and more.
Media Type: Book, eBook
Binding: HC
# Pages: 512
Price: $18.99
Genre: Fiction
Sub-Genre: Historical Fiction
Entry ID: 2226418

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