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The Fountains of Silence

Written by: Ruta Sepetys
Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins

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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling 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 18-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.

Read by Maite Jáuregui, with Richard Ferrone, Neil Hellegers, Joshua Kane, Liza Kaplan, and Oliver Wyman, and with an author’s note read by the author.

©2019 Ruta Sepetys (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"[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)

"A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience." (Kirkus 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)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexandra V.
  • 11-11-19

AMAZING!!

At first I thought... ohh nooo I picked a boom
I’m not going to like... after the first 2 chapters and I figured out what was going on I was HOOKED! Great BOOK! Sad it ended! Lol

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MelF
  • 09-11-19

Not Sepetys best

I have loved all of Sepetys other books so I was excited to listen to this one!!! But, it was slow, and long, and many POV which complicated listening, and quite honestly it was a bit boring. The subject matter had such potential!! Not much was accomplished in my mind as far as learning much about Franco and his regime. I never fell in love or felt all that committed to any of the characters. Skipable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley
  • 03-11-19

So much history and one book

I cannot recommend this book enough. There is truly so much history in these pages it makes you wanna research and help to do good in the world

1 person found this helpful

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  • K Buxton
  • 25-10-19

This Author never disappoints

I love historical fiction because it brings history to life. Ruta Sepetys has a unique way of blending the fact with the fiction without confusion. As with her other novels, I am now anxious to study the history and learn more about the real events and personal accounts of the individuals who lived it.
Great read!

1 person found this helpful

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  • marita lazarus
  • 16-10-19

A must read

Thoughtful evocative and full of imagery. It sucks you in and changes you so much

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patti A. Hill
  • 22-03-20

Never Miss One of Sepetys’ Stories

I’m one of Ruta’s crossover readers. Not a teen by a long shot but an admirer of her ability to weave a compelling story. I especially appreciate her attention to hidden history. This story takes place within my lifetime and I had no idea. Many thanks. The audible production is stellar. Hated to have it end.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • monica
  • 11-03-20

Historical fiction at its worse

The historical fiction part was of interest. The love story was so far fetched I had to pinch myself to continue to listen to this book

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  • Bruce Ecker
  • 26-02-20

elegantly written

I loved the story and its embedded history,
my family comes from Spain and this was fascinating.
the reader was the best!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 25-02-20

Overall 4 stars. Narration was bothersome

Overall I loved the story. I learned a lot and it had me googling for more information. And it was told very well. There was no point in listening that I thought "ok, get on with it".

One story line was predictable but then there were a few surprises thrown in there that I did not see coming and that even had me gasping. So again, good story telling.

Ruta Sepetys is one of my favorite authors of HF and she did not disappoint in this one.

Narration...the reason I took away the one star...I found it a little annoying in that some pronunciations of English words were off...when not part of dialogue. Examples were for dynasty it was pronounced deen-a-stee. And contributes was pronounced con-tra-butes. I would have thought that would have been caught in editing. That said, what I really liked about the narration was how they did the "new reel" feel of the excerpts being read from previous state records or broadcasts. That was WELL done.

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  • Jackie Phipps
  • 07-02-20

Great for Historical Fiction lovers!

Based on Franco's very scary rule! Very sad that this is still effecting Spaniards even today. History should be learned from and never forgotten!