Informative and a good read

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THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE by Ruta Sepetys was the #bookishbuddyread pick for February on Instagram. This was a BOTM pick for me and has been waiting on my shelf so I was glad to have the opportunity to finally pick it up!

THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE is set in 1950s Madrid. Tourists and buisiness men arrive in Spain, not really understanding the life being led by those who actually live there under the dictator’s rule. Daniel is among the tourists, an 18 year old there to connect with his mother’s home country and to take photos to enter for a photography prize. Both pursuits lead him to ask questions and wish to see deeper than the surface happiness shown to tourists.

Ana is a local working at the hotel. Her family is still dealing with the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and is trying to make ends meet. Getting involved with Daniel and his photography of her home country leads to the potential for disaster as she cannot afford to lose her position with the hotel.

I really enjoyed this novel a lot! This is a time and place I really didn’t know much about going into it and I liked the way the author interwove fact and fiction, even including old media reports and other documents to lend authenticity. The way the author incorporates Daniel’s photography into the narrative also aids in getting a sense of the country as he examines it through his lens.

This isn’t always an easy read as there is a lot of heartbreak in the story in how people were treated, especially those who came out on the “wrong” side of the civil war. That said, I did feel like this was an easy read in the sense that the chapters just flew by and the author kept me well hooked to the story.

This is definitely a story that is worth reading and knowing more about. I love the author included notes at the end to encourage bringing more of Spain’s story to light.