The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

My heart is full of this book.

With short chapters and short sentences, The Fountains of Silence is so fast to read that you don’t realize how deep you are in the story until you come up for air. Multiple points of view weave seemingly unrelated threads of story in and out until the end, revealing a cohesive tapestry that will bring tears to your eyes.

Set in 1950s Madrid, the story centers upon the mutual attraction between Daniel, the teenage son of a Texas oil tycoon, and Ana, a vibrant housekeeper at a Spanish luxury hotel catering to rich Americans. Their relationship is constantly constricted by a tangle of secrets and the cultural oppression of the Franco dictatorship, now in its 18th year.

Ruta Sepetys has always excelled at the research aspect of her historical novels, and this book is no exception. The setting is so rich it is practically a character itself–you can feel the dry Spanish heat on your face and opulent hotel linens beneath your fingers.

With storytelling so sophisticated, yet lacking any content inappropriate for younger readers, I’d hand this gem to any teen or adult–that is, if I could get my fingers to let go of it.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC SEPETYS)

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