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The Fountains of Silence

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Member Reviews

A very beautifully written book about the forgotten or hidden horrors of the Franco regime. It describes well the life in post war Spain and the mystery of the 'lost' children. Researching this period must have been heartbreaking and I thank the author for her realistic portrayal of the time and place. Intertwined with the horror is the moving story of the main protagonists and their families
This author is adept at writing the stories of people swept up in post war situations , and telling their lesser known triumphs and survival. Her books are well researched.
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This book was rich both description and story wise. It was such an emotional read and so beautifully done.
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Title - The Fountains of Silence

Author - Ruta Sepetys

Genre - Historical Fiction

Plot :

The year is 1957 and Daniel Matheson is in Madrid with his parents who are looking to make a deal as an oil firm with the Spanish dictator General Franco. A budding photographer, Daniel is drawn towards his hotel staff, Ana who seemed to be holding a lot of secrets and yet is intriguing to Daniel in many ways. In hopes of entering into his dream school, Daniel gets mixed up in lives of Spanish people around and learns that what is presented to the world and the reality are quite different in polarizing ways that one can never imagine.

My Take on the Book :

When I first came across this book, I confess I had never heard about Spanish dicatatorship. It just took me one book to go back and read about it. Coming back to the book, the book was pretty simple in writing and yet hard hitting. The readers are kept intrigued about the characters right from the start and are made to know that these ones are to stay in their minds for a pretty long time.

Daniel and Ana though manage to steal your heart from the way their story moves ahead, one other character Puri turns out to be even more intriguing than them and I at times did wish that we get to know more about the issues of babies being stolen from their parents and sold off to others. Though characters like Rafa, Daniel's parents are not that explored in the story, you still seemed to have a strong attachment towards them and realize that even minor characters makes a huge difference.

One should be emphatic towards the times that people have lived in and if there is something that everyone needs to do is learn from history as history keeps tending to repeat itself. We have seen things like Pandemic repeating themselves and if people are not going to learn from it, wars and dictatorship may also repeat and years down the line, we would be reading more and more stories on it.

My Ratings - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (5 out of 5 stars)
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If one wants to read about a historical perspective then perhaps this will do its work. However well researched the setting is, the book was a slow one. There are many interesting perspectives  but not enough to keep the reader going. Best read in small doses.
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The Fountains of Silence is a beautifully written YA historical fiction set during the Spanish Civil War. Rita Sepetys writes the setting of Madrid vividly and clearly did extensive research. It shows in her writing. The novel has short chapters and is told from numerous perspectives. This only makes it more insightful. There are even real life excerpts of newspapers, letters, interviews, etc interspersed throughout. It is really quite brilliant. The story will make readers feel and think and want to research the Spanish Civil War further. Highly recommended to anyone who loves strong historical fiction. This is one not to be missed!
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Absolutely stunning read and truly fascinating! 

The layers of the narrative were amazing and really dived deep into the characters Daniel and Ana. Their authenticity shined through but sometimes a little too perfect. I learned so much about Spain throughout which was something nice to add. 

There was a real juxtaposition between the lavish backdrop of the parties to the orphanage which really made me think and dwell upon with the difference between rich and poor.

The lyrical quality just had me gripped from beginning to end!
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First, this is a historical fiction set in Franco's Spain. There are different point of view but the main ones are from Daniel, a young American tourist and Anne, a maid at the hotel. Together, they will discover a lot of new things and some dark secrets.
Secondly, I really liked the story of the two main characters: they are in love but they are more than that and it is just beautiful. As well as that, the plot was truly addictive and the historical elements felt like they were researched a lot and it was enjoyable to learn about living under a dictatorship.
Thirdly, the story was well written and the extracts of real documents between chapters really helped to understand the history behind it. 
Overall, I loved this book which was so addictive and I can't wait to read another book by Ruta Sepetys.
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Fascinating insight into the after effects of the Spanish Civil War and life under Franco. I love the short chapters in this book and it was a great read. I would have preferred less character POVs but that is a personal preference.
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Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret.  A great story about a setting and time I had almost no knowledge of. A must read for historical fiction readers as well as fans of the author’s other works. I really enjoyed it and at times felt my heart being tugged, just read it people!
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The Fountains of Silence draws you in from the beginning throwing you into a world full of emotion-filled and well-crafted characters whose stories you become so invested in, It grips you wholly and is a book that you can become so immersed in that you will read it in a couple of sittings.
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What a fantastic read! It is a great story on many levels which hooks the reader into wanting to know more about what it must have been like in Franco’s Spain especially for the Spanish people who found themselves on the losing side after the Civil War. Daniel Mathewson accompanies his parents to Madrid in the summer of 1957 but he can have no idea how that trip will transform his life. He wants to gets the photographs he needs to complete his portfolio for the Magnum Photography competition which will help him get to J-School and pursue his dream of being a photojournalist. What he sees through his lens tells stories which will reverberate through the next 18 years. Will he get to the bottom of the secret world of Franco’s Spain and will it be a story he can tell and more importantly will Ana be able to share his life.
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The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys is set in Madrid, Spain. I have never been to Spain but it sounds like a beautiful country. It is on my list of places to visit. Visiting La Tomatina is on my bucket list. It was banned by Franco because it didn’t have any religious significance. This book is not quite as messy as a tomato throwing festival in a literal sense. At the time that the book takes place, people still have to be cautious about what they do, who they talk to and what they discuss.

Daniel is an aspiring photographer but some people don’t want him to take pictures of everything in Spain. The government is watching Daniel so he can’t attract too much attention or they will confiscate his camera and photographs.

He makes a friend with Ana, the person in charge of taking care of his family at the hotel. By the end of the summer, they are in love. It’s a dangerous time to be in love. They can’t flaunt their flirtations. Ana could lose her job, which is very important for helping to care for her family. If she and her siblings don’t pay for her mother’s burial plot, the powers that be will unbury their mother and place her in a mass grave. There are a lot of terrible things that people do but that has to be in the top ten worst things that anyone ever thought of in the history of the world.

The matador, Fuga, is an interesting character. He is the strong, silent type. However, Fuga might have a heart of gold under all of that bravado and silence.

Daniel is trying to win a photography competition, which could help him in a career as a photographer. He wants to photograph the real Spain, which is somewhat difficult because he is seen as an outsider because he is American. Ana and her family help him to see parts of Spain that he couldn’t find on his own. Even Fuga, who doesn’t like Daniel, reveals a huge conspiracy in order to help Daniel and the young people in Spain.

Here are my suggestions for a cast list for a movie or series. If you have another other contenders, let the author or Netflix know.


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Synopsis:

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. 

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys is set in Madrid, Spain. I have never been to Spain but it sounds like a beautiful country. It is on my list of places to visit. Visiting La Tomatina is on my bucket list. It was banned by Franco because it didn’t have any religious significance. This book is not quite as messy as a tomato throwing festival in a literal sense. At the time that the book takes place, people still have to be cautious about what they do, who they talk to and what they discuss.

Daniel is an aspiring photographer but some people don’t want him to take pictures of everything in Spain. The government is watching Daniel so he can’t attract too much attention or they will confiscate his camera and photographs.

He makes a friend with Ana, the person in charge of taking care of his family at the hotel. By the end of the summer, they are in love. It’s a dangerous time to be in love. They can’t flaunt their flirtations. Ana could lose her job, which is very important for helping to care for her family. If she and her siblings don’t pay for her mother’s burial plot, the powers that be will unbury their mother and place her in a mass grave. There are a lot of terrible things that people do but that has to be in the top ten worst things that anyone ever thought of in the history of the world.

The matador, Fuga, is an interesting character. He is the strong, silent type. However, Fuga might have a heart of gold under all of that bravado and silence.

Daniel is trying to win a photography competition, which could help him in a career as a photographer. He wants to photograph the real Spain, which is somewhat difficult because he is seen as an outsider because he is American. Ana and her family help him to see parts of Spain that he couldn’t find on his own. Even Fuga, who doesn’t like Daniel, reveals a huge conspiracy in order to help Daniel and the young people in Spain.

Here are my suggestions for a cast list for a movie or series. If you have another other contenders, let the author or Netflix know.

If you enjoy historical fiction with a sense of adventure or books set in places on your bucket list, then you might enjoy “The Fountains of Silence.”

Fascist dictators will not enjoy this book as much as they could. Being a fascist cannot be that much fun if you can’t enjoy life.

I received this book from The Write Reads, NetGalley and Penguin as part of a very casual book blog tour. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Obviously.
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The story-

Recently I read the fountain of silence, did I love the book yess, and because of that it took me a lot of time to write this review. The story deals with so many aspects of Spain’s history, which I hadn’t known about. I went into the book thinking it will be a story of two people falling in love and done. But it was so much more than that. The story tells us about the rule which was going on and the struggle for freedom and a storyline about the adoption scenarios while that struggle. We saw a different perspective from the characters like Ana and Daniel who are also the main characters.

The Characters-

Ana and Daniel might be the main characters of this story but Puri was the one who stole the story for me. The inner struggle with finding the truth and her difficulties she was facing was portrayed so well. I won’t go much into the other characters because of spoilers.
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"The Fountains of Silence" by Ruta Sepetys is set in Madrid, mostly during the 1950s. The Franco dictatorship has a tight grip on the country, although to the rich tourists, all seems to be bright and cheerful. However, life for the families of former Republicans, who opposed Franco, is not easy. Many live in poverty, working hard to maintain some life, but always with the fear of saying or doing the wrong things.

These restraints become obvious as the story unfolds. Daniel Matheson, a young Texan, is visiting Spain with his wealthy parents. He is hoping to pursue a career in photojournalism and it is through the eye of his camera that Spain begins to become real to him. He also meets a young hotel worker called Ana; they share a mutual attraction, but she is fearful of losing her job, so their relationship stutters.

This is only the “tip of the iceberg “as far as the plot of this wonderful novel is concerned. It is rich in detail about so much that was hidden and kept secret during Franco’s regime – and after. Following extensive research involving visits to Spain, talking to Spaniards, and delving into written sources, Ruta Sepetys has produced a thought provoking and informative novel. It certainly kept me involved and wanting to find out more about Spanish history in the 20th century.

I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this novel.
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Another powerful story - I read it straight through over a weekend. I loved the characters, felt I learned something and wanted to find out more. If I had a criticism it would be the overneat thing up of loose ends at the end
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Fascinating exploration of a period of history swept under the carpet. I loved the characters and the show reveals.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

Sepetys returns with another epic unknown part of history, this time concerning the Franco dictatorship and the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. I was gripped by the plot and unable to completely predict the twists and turns, and having visited Madrid a few years ago it was great to be able to follow the geography of the story. However, I find Sepetys' writing a bit stilted and devoid of emotion, which also transfers to her characters. At times it felt like important emotional beats of the story were missing (when Ana wore the dress etc.). It doesn't detract from the story, but is a bit frustrating.
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Thank you Netgalley for my review copy of this book.

There has never been a book of Ruta's that I have not enjoyed and savoured and this is no exception. Every book of hers has me intrigued and finding out another piece of history that I had no clue about.

This book is set in 1950s Spain under the regime of dictator Francisco Franco. It is focused around the relationship of a young Spanish hotel maid and a visiting rich American photographer. It has twists and turns that you don't expect and it is not your regular girl-meets-boy story which is refreshing.

The scene painting that Ruta does is breath taking in places and the human emotion she captures with a quiet dignity - subtle and softly spoken.
Cannot recommend this book enough - Ruta has done it again. I am not off to fish out a book on Spanish history to find out more. Thank you Ruta
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“I clung to books and words because, unlike people, they’d never abandon me.”

The book is set in Madrid in 1957, it talks about the life people had and how women were not allowed to certain things under General Francisco Franco. It also talked about a few dark secrets. Anna and her family are struggling and trying to make money. Anna works at the American Hotel where she met Danial. Danial is from Texas and came to Spain for the first time with his parents. Daniels is a photographer and wants to capture the life of Spain. But the USA and Spain are not the same. Things aren't what they seem and Danial has so many questions.

“Silence has a voice of its own.”

I enjoyed the starting when we were getting to know about the world and characters but the pace was slow, It felt like the book was going nowhere. I started to lose interest in a different track. Rafa's track never interested me, with time Puri's track also became too slow and boring. I only enjoyed Anna and Dan's track but here the problem was Anna, I didn't like her character development. Overall the slow-paced killed the book.

“Sometimes the truth is dangerous… But we should search for it nonetheless.”
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I love reading a historical novel that is built upon solid research. The fountains of silence by Ruta Sepetys is one story that I feel has been thoroughly researched, to provide the foundation and backdrop to this epic tale.

The scene is set in 1957 Madrid, where Spain is ruled by General Franco, a fascist dictator. The people of Spain are reminded at every turn that they should honour their country and its Catholic values that men and women should know their place, if they don’t then the Guardia Civil will be hot on their tail.

Daniel is the young son of an American oil tycoon who despite his father wanting him to take on the family business, Daniel’s heart lies in photography. His Spanish mother is supportive of Daniel’s pursuits and encourages him.
The family are in Spain to secure an oil deal with General Franco, but Daniel’s mother is longing for something while they are visiting her homeland. Daniel though is captivated by the maid Ana, who is drawn to the lifestyle and freedoms Daniel has. Ana and her family have little money, live in a ramshackle village and generally struggle to make a living.

Ana and Daniel wrestle with their feelings for each other the more time Daniel and his family stay in Spain. Why? Because can Daniel ever truly understand the hardships of living in a dictatorship, where Ana’s very individual identity is suppressed?

The secrets and lies that Spain has hidden are slowly uncovered through the photography of Daniel, but is this enough to expose Spain’s darkness and unite Daniel and Ana?

The writing is lovely and tells the story well from different views. The pace seemed a little slow, but it needed to be steady to give a full picture of what was happening with the people in Spain at that time. Although the scene is set within the dictatorship of General Franco, the heart of the story is the people, its characters and how they are dealing with living under the General’s rule. This provides a more heart warming insight into the period. What I enjoyed most were the snippets of quotes from people who experienced 1950’s/1960’s Spain.

Ruth Sepetys has written a novel that exposes Spain’s dark past and is something that we all should read. Not to judge, but to learn and realize that history is important in how we shape our future.
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