My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a really great read. It left me with all kinds of emotions!
This novel is told from the perspective’s of four young people of various nationalities as they make their way across Germany in the hopes of escaping the onslaught of Russian troops. This is historical fiction based around the devastating event in early 1945 when the ship known as Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk by Russian torpedoes. Around 9,000 people, including children, died as they attempted to get to safety. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is the biggest Maritime disaster ever to be recorded.
This novel really effected me, it shocked me and brought me to tears on numerous occasions. It brings to light the very poor standard of education I had in history whilst studying in school – which makes me very sad. I hope to read more on the world wars and educate myself a bit!
The only issue I had with the novel (and the reason why it has 4 instead of 5 stars) is the romance that occurred between two of the characters. I felt the romance was unnecessary and distracted from the real issues that were being discussed – I would of much preferred it if those two characters had just been friends. But overall I would highly recommend this to everyone!