New York Times best seller!
“Masterfully crafted.” (The Wall Street Journal)
Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards – Young Adult
For fans of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, international best-selling author Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war’s most devastating – yet unknown – tragedies.
In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country nor culture nor status matters as all 10,000 people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
Told in alternating points of view and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson’s critically acclaimed number-one New York Times best seller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein’s Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff – the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.
Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, and Michael Crouch perform mesmerizing narration worthy of Sepetys’s spectacular novel. Verdict: Libraries with even the most limited audio budgets will want to invest. (School Library Journal, starred review)
The talented narrators excel in capturing the tone of their characters…. [They] work together to create a vivid and well-rounded reading experience, [and] bring forth the truth of the wartime experience. (Booklist, starred review)
The four narrators (Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris and Michael Crouch) are superbly cast…. The story’s plot and pacing translate beautifully to the audio medium. (Publishers Weekly)
Featured on NPR’s Morning Edition