From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.
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. He is backed into a corner of difficult 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 postwar struggles of Spain.
Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.
Praise for The Fountains of Silence
"Spain under Francisco Franco is as dystopian a setting as Margaret Atwood’s Gilead in Ruta Sepetys’s suspenseful, romantic and timely new work of historical fiction . . . Like [Shakespeare's family romances], 'The Fountains of Silence' speaks truth to power, persuading future rulers to avoid repeating the crimes of the past." --The New York Times Book Review
“Full of twists and revelations…an excellent story, and timely, too.” --The Wall Street Journal
"A staggering tale of love, loss, and national shame." --Entertainment Weekly
* "[Sepetys] tells a moving story made even more powerful by its placement in a lesser-known historical moment. Captivating, deft, and illuminating historical fiction." --Booklist, *STARRED REVIEW*
* "This gripping, often haunting historical novel offers a memorable portrait of fascist Spain." --Publishers Weekly, *STARRED REVIEW*
* "This richly woven historical fiction . . . will keep young adults as well as adults interested from the first page to the last." --SLC, *STARRED REVIEW*
* "Riveting . . . An exemplary work of historical fiction." --The Horn Book, *STARRED REVIEW*
Sepetys (Salt to the Sea) again deftly explores a painful chapter in history, this time Franco's Madrid. In 1957, 18-year-old Daniel, an aspiring photojournalist from Texas, visits Spain with his Spanish mother and American oil tycoon father. After arriving, he hones his lens on the culture, in some cases capturing forbidden images that earn the wrath of the menacing Guardia Civil, and he forms a relationship with his enigmatic hotel attendant, Ana, and her family, who are barely surviving, in stark contrast to Daniel's family's affluence. The tension heightens as a mystery involving orphans unfolds and Daniel and Ana's magnetic romance progresses. The novel revolves around Ana's brother, Rafa, a bullfighting promoter; her cousin Puri, who works at an orphanage; a lecherous American ambassador; and an experienced newspaper bureau chief, who mentors Daniel. Sepetys skillfully conveys Spain's atmosphere under Franco who limited women's rights and squelched rebellion with a pervasive feeling of fear and economic oppression. Compelling primary source materials, such as memos from U.S. presidents, oral history excerpts, and even hotel brochures, precede some chapters and contextualize the narrative. This gripping, often haunting historical novel offers a memorable portrait of fascist Spain. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I waited so long for this book to come out, it did not disappoint. Ana and Daniel are gracefully portrayed and the plot was full of color. Ruta Sepetys never disappoints with her novels.
Shows what happened to the people in Spain during and after Franco’s rain and the hardships of it.
The Fountains of Silence
This book is an outstanding read. A beautiful love story that draws you into the city of Madrid and what life was like there in the 50s. Madrid is now a beautiful and vibrant city, it was atonishing to read about how difficult life was there not too long ago. The young people living in Madrid at that time would be in their 80s now, the same age as our grandparents and the age of many of my rehab patients. Makes me wonder what stories they have to tell if you have the time and patient to really listen.