Joana; the nurse who has a compassion so profound
Florian: carrying something so precious and valuable, stolen from the infamous Amber Room
Emilia: carrying a secret she cannot tell anyone about
and how their lives get entwined on their way to the port where they’d try to find new life for themselves. During the Operation Hannibal, these three characters alongwith 4 others, try to evacuate on Wilhelm Gustoff, the sinking of which is the deadliest disaster in maritime history. First half of the story mostly shows us background of different characters coming together during World War II and how and why they are where they are or where they want to go, in order to save themselves from advancing Russian troops. The second half narrates the sinking of the ship and the terrors that will last with the survivors in their memories forever. The book is a piece of art in itself, the narration of the ship sinking, the survivors and those who die in the water, really leaves you trembling. I couldn’t give the book anything but 5 stars because the story of all characters and the battles they fight individually and together, for survival, only to sink in the Baltic Sea. The ending of the story and the fact that it actually happened to thousands of civilians on board, is shocking. And to top it off, not many people know about it at all. War breaks us apart, but history unites us together. I appreciate the author’s efforts to bring it all together for people like us are oblivious to the historical incidents like this otherwise.
Love & Peace