Blog Tour: The Fountains of Silence

Today, I’m excited to share my stop on the blog tour for The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. As a huge fan of Ruta’s previous work, it was an honour to be invited to join this tour. Thank you so much to Nina Douglas and Penguin for organising the tour and sending me a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

Madrid, 1957.

Daniel, young, wealthy and unsure of his place in the world, views the city through the lens of his camera.

Ana, a hotel maid whose family is suffering under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.

Lives and hearts collide as they unite to uncover the hidden darkness within the city.

A darkness that could engulf them all . . .

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 and the hidden violence of silence.

TW: war, death, murder, mentions of torture, discussions of infant death, mention of miscarriage, illegal adoptions, stealing children 


My Thoughts:

The Fountains of Silence cements Sepetys’ status as one of the best YA historical fiction writers around. Yet again, she weaves an intimate tale of young love with a rich exploration of a period of history that you may not be familiar with. 

Her writing is just stellar. From the first page, you are completely immersed in the sights and sounds of Spain. You have a sense of the intense trauma and suffocating atmosphere imposed by the regime. This is a time characterised by silence and secrecy, the unspoken truths that linger long after you’ve finished the book. For me, Sepetys captures all this and so much more. Like the secrets held by the characters, so much is left in little clues and indeed in the weight of silence itself. People are not free to express their truths and this builds a claustrophobic environment that none of the characters can truly articulate or escape. Daniel acts as the eyes of the audience, as like him, you are thrust into this world and spend your time trying to piece together the awful truth. 

The use of multiple narrators helps to build this complex and layered tapestry. This is a great hallmark across her work, as it helps expose certain aspects of the history and create a cohesive story. Each character has their own distinctive voice and you instantly warm to each speaker. They all hold an element of the bigger picture, but it is only by paying attention to every perspective that the narrative is fully revealed. Even then, Sepetys leaves some pieces forever shrouded in grief and secrecy. 

The Fountains of Silence is a tour de force that exposes the cost and weight of silence. It deals in unspoken truths through brilliant characters and incredibly immersive writing.

As part of the tour, we got to virtually attend a super interesting and exciting talk with Ruta and Carmen McCullough, Ruta’s editor. I even got to ask her a couple of questions about creativity and inspiration. I’ve tried to replicate Ruta’s amazing answers as closely as possible, but any errors are on my part.

How have you kept your creativity going during the current climate? 

I have found that being on tour so often, I don’t have long blocks to write so I have acted as though this time is a gift. You get to write. It’s actually worked. I’ve tried to surround myself with something that has better vibrations than the news.

Writing allows you to take yourself to some place outside, which feels like such a privilege now.

What’s a piece of advise you’d like to give any aspiring authors? 

  • Writing from sensory memory
  • Best inspiration comes from your own lived experience – within our own lives are those experiences of joy and hardship
  • Look first within
  • Mine your own historical memory, your feelings and your sense memory

Thank you again to Nina Douglas and Penguin for including me and make sure you check out the other superb posts on the blog tour.

3 thoughts on “Blog Tour: The Fountains of Silence

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