The Fountains of Silence

The Fountains of Silence

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 guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his...

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Title:The Fountains of Silence
Author:Ruta Sepetys
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Fountains of Silence Reviews

  • Alicia

    Having had twelve hours to process the book after reading it in the span of twenty-four hours including a car ride (and I don't read in the car because well, motion-sickness, but there are just times where that needs to be overcome), I can now write a review that consists of more than hearts and exclamation points.

    Picking stories that represent dark times in our global history is likely the easiest part, but deciding to tell it with the emotional strength and depth required can only be trusted

    Having had twelve hours to process the book after reading it in the span of twenty-four hours including a car ride (and I don't read in the car because well, motion-sickness, but there are just times where that needs to be overcome), I can now write a review that consists of more than hearts and exclamation points.

    Picking stories that represent dark times in our global history is likely the easiest part, but deciding to tell it with the emotional strength and depth required can only be trusted to a few writers. Sepetys is one of those chosen few, and chosen because three books have already solidified her ability to write historical fiction and this one is equally captivating. Her appeal lies with adults and young adults who want to access the worlds she opens up. In this story, there are four characters who intersect in mesmerizing ways: Spanish brother and sister Ana and Rafa, their cousin Puri, and the American-- Daniel. Their connections unfold in a series of suspenseful, dark, sentimental, and deeply personal ways in and around the Castellana Hilton, a hotel that's a piece of the United States inside Madrid, Spain during the tumultuous and tenuous reign of Generalissimo Franco. The policies and practices that emerge lead to tragedy that Puri begins to uncover while Daniel as an outsider who pines for Ana also discovers additional stories when using the lens of his camera. Everyone has a story to tell.

    There are characters you'll love to hate and characters you want to fall in love. One thing is for sure, you'll fall in love with Sepetys again. Storytelling is her passion and her purpose. And the power of the story is similar to Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See and Hannah's The Nightingale and the length and span of the story to Julie Berry's newest Lovely War. Whether readers are understanding the importance of dress for a bullfighter or poverty in Vallecas. I had no problem following the array of characters because they are all instrumental, even as the book moves forward in time and new secrets emerge, I would have gladly welcomed more.

    It's the nuanced relationships and evocative time period that teach us about humanity. The setting creates is own set of problems and character so anyone who has visited will easily recognize it while those who haven't (me) can understand through Sepetys' choices what we didn't experience firsthand. She's a guide for epic stories of love and loss, politics and economics. The human toll of dictatorship. The secrets and the danger of secrecy. There was a constant pull to uncover and understand, so when Sepetys adds a confessional and power struggles, money and beauty, no one is ever quite certain who to trust but that in that, we can only imagine why even now there a vow of silence as Spain moves on.

    One thing is for certain: this book is layered. It can be re-read as one of the three books someone would take on a deserted island and never tire of whether I'm staring at the cover or remembering all that unfolded between the pages. It's masterful and a book I will continue to re-live.

  • Bitchin' Reads

    My favorite Ruta Sepetys yet. The last third of it had me sobbing regularly. SOBBING, I SAY. BIG FAT BITTERSWEET TEARS.

  • Liv (Stories For Coffee)

    Review to come

  • Misfit

    I don't normally read YA, but when I was offered an ARC and saw how how popular this author was, I decided to go for it. The setting is 1950s Spain under the rule of General Francisco Franco. The hero, 18 year old Daniel Matheson arrives with his parents as his father conducts whatever business Texas oil tycoons do. They stay at a swanky hotel that is popular with the Hollywood type set. Many famous names are dropped throughout the story - say too many names.

    Anyway, Daniel meets up with hotel e

    I don't normally read YA, but when I was offered an ARC and saw how how popular this author was, I decided to go for it. The setting is 1950s Spain under the rule of General Francisco Franco. The hero, 18 year old Daniel Matheson arrives with his parents as his father conducts whatever business Texas oil tycoons do. They stay at a swanky hotel that is popular with the Hollywood type set. Many famous names are dropped throughout the story - say too many names.

    Anyway, Daniel meets up with hotel employee Ana, and the two have adventure kind of stuff Nd some mysteries about babies to solve.

    Sorry, but this just took too long to get going, and I was terribly bored until the very last when things were wrapped up. The terribly short chapters with too many point of view was a big distraction for me, and that slowed the story line as well.

    Sorry, this one just wasn't my cuppa tea.

  • Hannah Greendale

    Congested, sacharrine, and melodramatic.

  • Nenia ⭐ Literary Garbage Can ⭐ Campbell

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    A while back, I read another book called Ruta Sepetys, called

    , a work of young adult historical fiction set in 1950s New Orleans. It had the potential to be an interesting book, but the lazy, meandering pace; lack of action; and reliance on an almost entirely character-driven story made for some tough readin'. I hoped that THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE, with its intriguing premise of characters struggling to exist under the milit

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    A while back, I read another book called Ruta Sepetys, called

    , a work of young adult historical fiction set in 1950s New Orleans. It had the potential to be an interesting book, but the lazy, meandering pace; lack of action; and reliance on an almost entirely character-driven story made for some tough readin'. I hoped that THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE, with its intriguing premise of characters struggling to exist under the militaristic dictatorship of Francisco Franco in Spain might be better. At the very least, it might be more action-packed.

    I was wrong, on both counts.

    The slow pacing and character-driven stories seem to be hallmarks of Ruta Sepetys's style, regardless of whether she's writing for an adult or a young adult audience. And even when writing about "edgy" content, like prostitution or stolen babies, her books have an overly clean, sanitized feel reminiscent of Amy Harmon's - only, she isn't the emotional storyteller that Harmon is. It's like these books were put in a juicer and everything pulpy and interesting was extracted, leaving only the inoffensive concentrate behind.

    There are multiple POVs in this book - another literary technique I'm also not a fan of, which wasn't present in OUT OF THE EASY - which made this book hard to read. One of the advance readers I saw actually ended up not finishing this book because of that, and I'll be honest and admit that I considered doing the same because this book took

    to get into. Daniel is the main character, I would say, even though it takes a while to get to him. His mother is Spanish, but his father is a Texas oil baron, and he's in Spain because his dad's trying to secure a drilling deal with Franco. The other main character, the love interest, is a girl named Ana, who works in the high class hotel, the Castellana Hilton, at which Daniel and his family are staying.

    Ana's family also gets POVs, primarily her brother, Rafa(el), who wants to be a bullfighter; her married sister, Julia, whose fear at challenging the system makes her more willing to play by the rules; and then Ana's cousin, Puri, who works at a Catholic adoption center with the nuns and is beginning to discover something sinister about the babies being brought into their charge. Their stories intertwine, sometimes in dull ways, sometimes in interesting ways, sometimes in irrelevant ways that feel like they're only there to bulk up the page count. Ana learns desire and rebellion; Daniel learns to confront his own privilege; there's a love story that bends and twists under pressure and strife, but doesn't break; all of this is happening under a fascist yoke, where the Guardia Civil are everywhere, and so are their plants, slowing down the inevitable influence of Western capitalism.

    I ended up liking this a bit more at the end than I did at the beginning, and obviously, since I made it to the end of this nearly-500-page tome, I ended up feeling invested enough to finish. It was an OK story, but again - it felt sanitized. History is dirty and awful. I didn't really feel like the fear, paranoia, and persecution of the dictatorship was adequately captured here. Even when bad things

    happen, they come across as understated. You, as the reader, are utterly numb to the stakes. It's the type of book you might encounter at a book club or bring with you on an airplane, only to leave it behind you on the seat once you've finished. I don't think this is a bad book, but it's definitely not what I want out of historical fiction, and it's cemented my suspicions that Ruta Sepetys is not an author for me.

    2.5 to 3 stars

  • Belkiss Misa

    My body and soul are ready

  • Alex's Reads & Reviews

    Do you realize the lengths I would go to for a copy of this book? I NEED THIS SO BADLY

  • ♠️ TABI ♠️

    and ohhhhhhhhh look at that cover!!

  • Emily May

    🇪🇸

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