Title: The Fountains of Silence
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Release date: First published on October 1st 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books
Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, hopes to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography -and fate – introduce him to Ana, a hotel maid, whose family is suffering under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.
Daniel and Ana’s lives and hearts collide as they unite to uncover the hidden darkness within the city – a darkness that could engulf them all . . .
Let me just start by saying that this is my first Ruta Sepetys novel, and surely won’t be my last! The Fountains of Silence is a Historical Fiction novel set in Spain during the Franco dictatorship (which I have never heard of until I read this!). I love that there is a sort of rawness to the writing, which gives the characters so much flesh and essence. Every word flows so naturally together, which allows you to fly through the novel very quickly. I was initially anticipating the type of ‘rich’ prose (similar to the kind of writing style you would normally find in Zafón’s novels), but instead we get this very unfiltered, sort of bared down writing that I think makes an even larger impact on the readers. The bareness of Ruta Sepetys’ descriptions and narration perfectly depicts the state of Spain when they were ruled under Franco. The author is not afraid to put the spotlight on certain heavy topics and brutal outcomes of the era, which I so admire. There seems to be a significant meta concept where one of the main characters in the novel (who is a photographer) in a way mirrors Sepetys’ writing because of his role in the story, and I think that is very cleverly and effectively done! That being said, the ‘rich’ prose that I was anticipating was instead replaced by my craving for more of Sepetys’ raw tone of voice and writing!
I also loved the romance! It was done SO well, AND it did not overshadow nor glorify this significant period of time in history. The author unravels the romance so subtlely, and she was able to fit the romance in the story as if it’s the perfect match to a puzzle! I craved every second of it, and it actually has some significance to the Franco dictatorship, meaning the romance actually played a huge part in driving the whole story forward. Amazing! Ugh, don’t you just love when everything in a story complements one another so well? I am obsessed with Sepetys’ effortless storytelling. The only reason why this did not get 5 stars is because the ending left me wanting MORE! This book is already 400+ pages long, but I wish it was longer!
What an experience it was to read such an enticing story. I will now only hold on to the fact that I still have Between Shades of Gray (by the same author) waiting for me on my TBR list to patch up this very attached reader heart of mine.
So so dark but beautiful. I highly, highly recommend picking this novel up!
Thank you so much Penguin Books Australia for sending over a free copy!
if you’re interested in buying The Fountains of Silence, you can click here to shop the book at Book Depository. I receive a small commission if you use the link! 🙂