cover image Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

Ruta Sepetys, read by multiple narrators. Listening Library, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 9 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-14-752543-7

Set in East Prussia during the brutal winter of 1945, these stories of four very different teenagers—three refugees escaping their disparate war-torn homelands, and a Nazi sailor obsessed with Hitler—Intertwine when they all end up on the doomed ship Wilhelm Gustloff. The four narrators (Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, and Michael Crouch) are superbly cast, each taking on the role of a main character with a distinctive voice that perfectly matches his or her role: the young, vulnerable voice of Emilia, a sweet Polish 16-year-old who has suffered too much tragedy and emotional trauma; the warm, caring tones of Joana, a Latvian nurse, who is nurturing and perceptive; the deep, guarded voice of Florian, a mysterious Prussian hiding a secret; and most memorable of all, the high, thin, nasal voice of the Nazi sailor Alfred, dripping with smug arrogance and self-righteousness. The story’s plot and pacing translate beautifully to the audio medium; the intimate interior monologues reveal character development while fast-paced, gripping action scenes of danger and narrow escapes create a sense of suspense. The result is a riveting audiobook that will have listeners on the edge of their seats while also educating them about a little-known but tragic chapter of WWII history. Ages 12–up. A Philomel hardcover. (Feb.)