Not Only for Young Adults

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Of the four Ruta Sepetys books that I've read, I would rank THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE as her best. All four of the books bring light to history that is not widely known. But THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE is even more than that. It is unputdownable, a book that I did not want to end.

18-year-old Daniel and Ana (about the same age) meet when he is visiting Spain with his parents in 1957. Franco is dictator there, and Daniel's father, an oil businessman, has come to make a deal with him. Ana is their hotel maid. Daniel is an aspiring photographer. He takes many pictures of life as it really is for the people living under Franco and his regime.

So you would think these two main characters and their quick romance is what this book is about. But I found the main subject of THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE is really the approximately 300,000 babies who were stolen from their parents and sold to adoptive parents. Sure, we meet Ana's brother and sister and cousin, each with their own story, but they all come down to this, the babies stolen from parents who the government deemed unsuitable, "Red."

Although THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE is classified as young adult, as are all Sepetys novels, she is a "crossover" author, and adults as well as young adults will enjoy and benefit from this book.