About My Book Reviews

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Title: The Fountains of Silence

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Published: 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade Level: Young Adult

-Movie Rating: PG


(This review will only be over the first half)



Narrated by: Ruta Sepetys, Maite Jauregui, and others

Length: 12 hrs 24 min

Recommend: No


Blurb (from goodreads):

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an 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 difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Good

If you look at my past reviews of Sepetys’ work, you will see that I am a huge fan of her writing style. Shades of Grey, Salt to the Sea, and Out of the Easy are my some of my favorite historical fiction novels.

However, this novel really let me down. While I loved the atmosphere she created, both with her words and the actual historical records woven in, I just didn’t feel connected to the story Sepetys was trying to tell.

Much of the writing felt more like an outline or a first draft. I would never have guessed that Sepetys wrote this story because it has none of her personal flare. Her unique voice just seems to be missing.


Characters: Underdeveloped

The characters just fell flat for me, especially during the dialogue sequences. They were boring, predictable, and didn’t seem to be actively trying to achieve their goals in life. They were just stuck spinning their wheels and coming to the same dead ends.

On top of that it was really hard to try and connect with any of them because the POVs changed so quickly.


Plot: No Plot

I couldn’t tell you what the plot is to save my life. All the plot seemed to be about was the setting and atmosphere of Madrid 1957. Maybe it actually turns into something during the second half, but I could barely force myself to make it halfway.


Overall: Confusing

I love Ruta Sepetys as an author, but, unfortunately, I feel that this novel is a dud.

Goodreads Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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