Hey Readers! Today, I get to do something a little different and a bit more fun. I got a chance to read “The Fountains of Silence” by Ruta Sepetys before it released, and I’m honored to be a part of the blog tour!
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 guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas 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. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
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, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain.
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This book was fantastic, engrossing, perfect for fans of a bit of history tied into our stories of human emotions and the power of hope. I just loved it.
Today, I’m offering up 6 movies I think you’d love, if you loved this book! If you’ve read the book, let me know what you think! Any movies you’d add?
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
This was the first one I thought of. It’s another gorgeous movie (and book) set with a backdrop of something critical to world history, but we get to narrow the lens and focus on this group of people, and this author who came to visit them after exchanging letters. I won’t spoil it, but if you love history, books, and gorgeous scenery, this is a must water.
- Julie & Julia (2009)
Though this one is not quite historical, it gives me the same vibes. I love watching someone’s lives unfold in past, but this movie gives us the modern view of someone trying out improve their life by cooking through the cookbook of Julia Child. It’s a fantastic movie, funny, heartfelt, and shows the power we can have even when we don’t know it.
- The Glass Castle (2017)
“The Glass Castle” is a film adapted from Jeannette Walls’ memoir. Another period piece that really shows what life was life for a specific family in a time in America. The main character tells her story about growing up with unemployed parents, who struggle with abuse and addiction.
- The Red Badge of Courage (1951)
History through the eyes of a young man, similar to our photographer in Fountains, the Red Badge of Courage deals with courage, responsibility, and our personal duty. Many themes that appear in the book. In the movie, Henry Fleming is a young Union soldier in the American Civil War. During his unit’s first engagement, Henry flees the battlefield in fear. However, when he learns that his unit will be leading a charge on the enemy, Henry takes the opportunity to face his fears and redeem himself.
- Brooklyn (2015)
I loved Ana, and this movie made me think of her. A young girl trying to make her own life, that bold streak. In this movie, young Irish immigrant Eilis Lace (Saoirse Ronan) navigates her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her past disrupts her new vivacity, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
- Ashes in the Snow (2018)
I didn’t realize this book was based on a book by the same author until putting this list together, but I can see it. I definitely got the same vibes in this story. The plot to this movie deals with World War II, and focused on a 16-year-old artist and her family get deported to Siberia as Stalin brutally dismantles the Baltic region. Another movie with our focus on young adults during a very trying time in history. Well done, touching, and right in line with our goals for this list!
I loved this book! I’m a historical fiction lover, and I tend to enjoy a good story of hope, courage, and being a young person against the backdrop of an event in our history, and that’s what this book delivered. It’s actually the first book by this author I’ve read, and I will have to check out more of her books in the future.
Rafe and Ana are struggling with the tragic past of their family. Their father was killed, and their mother was imprisoned, and they are trying to survive in this new world. Their backstory was heartbreaking, but their journey in the book was lovely. We also meet Fuga who shares Rafe’s dreams of becoming a famous bullfighter and protecting the children. Another character, Puri, works at the Catholic Adoption Centre and we get a view of what this looked like in Spain at the time. David comes to Spain to capture images beyond the official version and attempting to highlight the truth. During a dictatorship, that’s a dangerous intention. David and Ana connect to discuss traveling and escape, and she begins to slowly entrust him with the inner secrets of a country where people live in fear and terror. It’s fantastic.
If you’re on the fence, pick up this book. You’ll get such a unique view on Franco’s rule in Spain and how it felt to be one of the many struggling.
Ruta Sepetys (www.rutasepetys.com) is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist, as her books are read by both teens and adults worldwide. Her novels Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, and Salt to the Sea have won or been shortlisted for more than forty book prizes, and are included on more than sixty state award lists. Between Shades of Gray was adapted into the film Ashes in the Snow, and her other novels are currently in development for TV and film. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is passionate about the power of history and literature to foster global awareness and connectivity. She has presented to NATO, to the European Parliament, in the United States Capitol, and at embassies worldwide. Ruta was born and raised in Michigan and now lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow her on Twitter @RutaSepetys and Instagram @RutaSepetysAuthor.