Indonesia is the worlds 4th most populated country, with a population of 267 million people. The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta, and it was established as such during the Dutch East Indies period. Another major city in Indonesia is, Surabaya. This city is famous for its massive cigarette factory, as well as its extremely high quality cigarettes, made from a blend of cloves, Surabaya also has a zoo. Bahasa Indonesia is the official language in Indonesia. However, it is an island country, and as such, it has over 300 other languages spoken on it. One relevant health fact about Indonesia is that 25 out of every 1000 people die under the age of 5. The 6 main religions (or belief systems) recognized by the government are: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. These are world wide the biggest religions, so it makes sense. There weren’t any holidays exclusive to Indonesia that I could find.
To me, Salt To The Sea seems to be focused on the characters, and the interactions they had with each other. It was much less focused on intentionally telling a story, and much more focused on crafting deep, meaningful characters. The author realized that, if the characters are good enough, the story will tell itself. I loved how the characters would describe how they felt about each other throughout the novel. Emilia describing Florian as her knight, and Florian constantly comparing Emilia to his little sister was one of my favorite relationships. One thing I didn’t like was the book occasionally drawing a scene along for seemingly no reason. It often feels like events, or scenes in the book could be greatly shortened, without sacrificing the story telling, or detail. For example they spend a massive amount of time walking in the book, and I found that really difficult to read through. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted character piece.
At this point in my novel, the fugitives have found a mansion, and have taken shelter there. Emilia has saved Florian in the woods from a Russian soldier. Florian feels tremendous emotional strain both from his lack of progress, and his refusal to become attached to anyone he is travelling with, despite their best efforts. Alfred has also gained control over the Wilhelm Gustloff; This is the boat that is going to take the fugitives away from the countries they are fleeing. The author of this book, Ruta Sepetys is a historical fiction author, born in Detroit. In preparing to write Salt To The Sea, she interviewed several survivors of the Wilhelm Gustloff sinking, as well as people who are just generally experts of the time period, or the ship. You can actually find said interviews in the back of the book. I haven’t finished my book yet, but based on what I know about the historical event, I’m going to guess that after the characters long travel to get to the boat, they will all be denied access onto it. This will seem heartbreaking until they find out the ship sunk, and then I’m guessing the book will end at around this area.
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