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The fountains of silence : a novel
2019
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Summary
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.

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.

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history's darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence--inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.

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

Praise for The Fountains of Silence

"Spain under Francisco Franco is as dystopian a setting as Margaret Atwood's Gilead in Ruta Sepetys's suspenseful, romantic and timely new work of historical fiction . . . Like [Shakespeare's family romances], 'The Fountains of Silence' speaks truth to power, persuading future rulers to avoid repeating the crimes of the past." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Full of twists and revelations...an excellent story, and timely, too." -- The Wall Street Journal

"A staggering tale of love, loss, and national shame." --Entertainment Weekly

* "[Sepetys] tells a moving story made even more powerful by its placement in a lesser-known historical moment. Captivating, deft, and illuminating historical fiction." -- Booklist , *STARRED REVIEW*

* "This gripping, often haunting historical novel offers a memorable portrait of fascist Spain." -- Publishers Weekly , *STARRED REVIEW*

* "This richly woven historical fiction . . . will keep young adults as well as adults interested from the first page to the last." -- SLC , *STARRED REVIEW*

* "Riveting . . . An exemplary work of historical fiction." -- The Horn Book , *STARRED REVIEW*
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up--In her latest historical novel, Sepetys illuminates dark secrets about Francisco Franco's fascist rule of Spain. In 1957 Madrid, 18-year-old aspiring photojournalist Daniel Matheson is staying at the luxurious Castellana Hilton Hotel with his Texas oil tycoon father and Spanish mother. Daniel befriends Ana, a hotel employee, whose attraction to Daniel is constrained by fear about losing her job and by silence about her family tragedies. When Daniel turns his camera lens on local people and places, he captures provocative images of nuns and orphans, infant burials, an impassioned, struggling bullfighter, the intimidating Guardia Civil military police, Ana's impoverished homelife, and his father shaking hands with Franco. Gradually, Daniel discovers that beneath the bustling tourist and business vibe of Madrid lurks the dark realities of Franco's regime: stolen children, sinister church and government collusion, murder of Franco's political adversaries, and the abuse and re-education of surviving children--like Ana and her siblings. Troubled by unanswered questions, Daniel returns to the U.S. with his parents and a newly adopted sister. He revisits Spain with his sister 18 years later, after Franco's death. As he introduces his sister to her original culture, he fondly reconnects with Ana and learns the truth of his sister's parentage. This multidimensional story contains a rich cast of characters with different perspectives, vivid descriptions, romance, and cultural insights. Multiple narrative threads are skillfully woven together. Official quotations from academic and foreign service archives are interspersed among the chapters and document the conflicted relationship between the U.S. and Franco. VERDICT This well-crafted story sheds light on a disturbing chapter of 20th century history and helps break the silence and expose the tragedy of 300,000 children adopted or stolen during Franco's rule.--Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham Public Schools, NC
Booklist Review
It's 1957 and aspiring photographer Daniel Matheson is visiting Spain with his Texas oil tycoon father. Daniel is eager for the opportunity to flesh out his portfolio for a photography contest what would be more prize-­worthy than photos of daily life in notoriously secretive Spain? but he gets repeated warnings, some quite aggressive, against looking too closely. Another thing Daniel doesn't bank on is Ana, an arrestingly beautiful maid at the Castellana Hilton, where he's staying with his parents. As their affection deepens, so, too, do their differences: Ana, daughter of executed anti-Fascists, lives a tightly constrained existence, and Daniel has unprecedented freedom in her country and can't quite wrap his head around the danger he puts her in. In another meticulously researched novel, Sepetys (Salt to the Sea, 2015) offers a captivating glimpse into Franco's Spain, a region awash in secrets and misinformation. As Sepetys slowly unspools hard truths about the era, such as the prevalence of babies stolen from poor, Republican families, the facts become increasingly impossible to ignore, both for the reader and for Daniel. The romance ultimately takes center stage, but the troubling events in the margins add terrifyingly high stakes to Daniel and Ana's relationship. For all her extensive, careful research (evident in the back matter), Sepetys doesn't overwhelm readers with facts; rather, she tells a moving story made even more powerful by its placement in a lesser-known historical moment. Captivating, deft, and illuminating historical fiction. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A new novel from best-selling, award-winning Sepetys is always news, but this latest has a hefty promotional campaign to bolster it up as well.--Sarah Hunter Copyright 2019 Booklist
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