YA (that didn’t feel YA) historical fiction

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The Fountains of Silence takes place in Madrid in 1957 when tourism and business relations with the US were taking off, but the Spanish populations was terribly repressed.
Under the 38 year dictatorship of Franco, Catholicism was e only accepted religion, censorship was everywhere, women were expected to be homemakers, and wages were minuscule.

I haven’t read anything by Ruta Sepetys prior to this novel, but it was clear that she has a passion for making sure her information is correct. Eight years of research went in to writing this novel, and in the end she lists all of her resources and acknowledges those who helped her in the process.
This book vividly depicts the poor conditions of most of the Spanish citizens in stark contrast with the wealthy main characters from Texas. •
While in Madrid, Daniel, an aspiring photographer, takes a photo of a nun outside of an orphanage that makes him question what is happening in Spain beyond the lush accommodations of the Hilton hotel he is visiting with his parents. Ana, an employee of the hotel, helps him find a place to develop the film, and as they start to spend time together, Ana and Daniel form a close friendship that is worrisome to her family.
Ana’s cousin, Puri, works in the orphanage and genuinely cares about the children and her discoveries about the situation there.

The characters are likable and full of life. The short chapters told from different viewpoints made this 475 page book a quick read. I read this page turner this weekend and loved it. I enjoyed learning more about Spain’s history. While it’s marketed as YA, it is actually a work that most historical fiction fans will devour. It was an emotional, deftly plotted novel.