The Fountains of Silence [Book Review]

November 3, 2019

 The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

The Fountains of Silence Review

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Post Spanish Civil War Spain, YA, Family, Love Story

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:


In 1957, Madrid, Spain is under the control of the fascist dictator General Francisco Franco. While citizens endure harsh conditions of the dictatorship after the Spanish Civil War, tourists experience another version of life in Spain as they enjoy parties and wine at the Hilton Hotel. Eighteen-year-old Daniel is a hotel guest, a photographer, and the son of a Texas oil tycoon; his mother was born in Spain and Daniel is eager to visit her homeland. Ana works at the hotel as a maid. Daniel and Ana meet and fall in love. While Ana is simultaneously intrigued by American life and concerned for her family, Daniel sets his mind to capture the real Spain in photos and finds himself investigating the plight of stolen children. The circumstances surrounding their love story are difficult for them to navigate.

My Thoughts:

Writing: After reading previous works by Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray), I know that she’s an author I can trust to take me anywhere. Her descriptive writing is beautiful! Sepetys is known as a cross-over author in that adults enjoy her YA titles. I never feel like I’m reading a typical YA selection when I read one of her stories. Sepetys is highly respected for the impressive amount of research she invests in her historical fiction work. Readers will not be disappointed with the research, the quality of her writing, or the multilayered family drama. At the beginning of the story, The Fountains of Silence has quite a few characters to navigate. Even though you might feel challenged with the multiple points of view, you can trust her to bring it all together. I think the setting descriptions and historical situation will engage you until you are completely comfortable with the characters. Candidly, I think the cast of characters could have been trimmed a bit. I wonder if the YA audience will be engaged by the multitude of characters. SPOILER AHEAD: I’m not too thrilled with the gap of time that occurred in the Daniel/Ana relationship. However, I am happy with how everything turned out!

Characters: Daniel and Ana are memorable and likable! Daniel is a rugged and “I’ll fix it” cowboy type who has lived a privileged life and Ana is a courageous, brave, and beautiful local girl who is completely devoted to her family. Their relationship is harrowing, heartfelt, and complicated. As mentioned above, there is quite a large cast of characters which could challenge some readers.

Plot: The plot of The Fountains of Silence is compelling and complex on a personal and historical level. I didn’t know anything about Spain during this time period and I feel like I learned a lot….and more after Googling! I even peppered my husband with questions and then we both Googled! The plot will reveal the significance of the title and I won’t spoil that for you here. I love the multilayered aspect of the story!

Themes: In addition to a love story, The Fountains of Silence includes thoughtful themes of family, friendship, found family, adoption, injustice, risk-taking, secrets, and walls of silence.

Recommended: I highly recommend The Fountains of Silence for fans of well-written and well- researched historical fiction, for readers who might have lived in or visited Spain, for those who love feisty, independent, risk-taking main characters, and for book clubs. Mature YA readers and adults will appreciate this story. In a nod to the YA genre, there is a wee bit of “insta love”!

My Rating:  4.5  Stars

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The Fountains of Silence

The Fountains of Silence Information

Meet the Author, Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author and Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. The daughter of a refugee, Ruta is drawn to underrepresented stories of strength through struggle and hopes to give voice to those who weren’t able to tell their story. Her award-winning historical novels are published in over fifty countries and have received over forty literary prizes.

For more information:


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  1. AHHHHHH!!!❤️❤️❤️😍😍😍 I have been meaning to read this book for Soo long! EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE COMPLETELY INLOVE WITH IT AND I WANNA FALL IN LOVE AS WELLL ! 😍😍😍 I am glad you enjoyed it, Carol! ❤️❤️ This one will be my first Ruta Sepetys and I can see it’s going to be SOO MUCH FUN! 😍😍🥰🥰❤️❤️❤️

    • I hope you enjoy it! I also love Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray….although they are sadder because of WW11 content.

      • Oh I LOVE World War novels! I AM DEFINITELY GONNA READ THEM! 😍😍❤️❤️ Than you sooo much for the recommendations Carol because although I was aware of te title Between Shades of Grey, I didnt know it was a WW novel! THAT makes ALL the difference! 😍😍❤️❤️💕💕

      • I hope you enjoy the reads Rain! They are companion reads in a sense because a main character in Salt to the Sea is a relative of the character in Between Shades of Gray. Both are stand alone though. Oh….don’t get mixed up with Shades of Gray 😱😂😂😂 two totally different books! 😂😂😂

  2. Great review Carol. I have read her other books and enjoyed them, so am looking forward to this one. It sounds like it is exactly what I would expect from this author.

  3. […] I first discovered Ruta Sepetys when I read Salt to the Sea earlier this year. I followed that quickly with Between Shades of Gray (her first novel). Both stories deal with similar WWll themes and loosely follow some of the same family members. Recently I read her third novel, Out of the Easy. Although I love all her works, I consider Salt to the Sea my favorite of her novels (review). ***4/22 Edited to add: I recently read her newest release, The Fountains of Silence. […]

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