The B&N YA Podcast: Ruta Sepetys

Explore the stories behind the young adult books you love with the B&N YA Podcast. Join the editors of the B&N Blogs as they sit down with YA authors to talk about books, life, their teen years, their pop cultural obsessions, and how they came up with the stories that keep us up at night. Subscribe to listen in on fascinating new conversations every other week.

Today’s special guest is the internationally bestselling author Ruta Sepetys. In novels like Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea, Sepetys has given readers glimpses into turning points of 20th century history through the experiences of characters set right in the midst of these gripping real-world dramas. She’s told the stories of Lithuanians sent to Siberian camps by the Soviet regime and refugees fleeing the devastation of the second world war — all via intricately constructed tales of individuals who have everything at stake. Her new novel The Fountains of Silence takes readers to 1950s Spain under the rule of Franco’s authoritarian regime; when American teen Daniel Matheson arrives in Madrid, his hope is capture its beauty with his camera — but his growing connection to a young woman named Ana reveals the struggles that her family faces under the dictatorship, and forces Daniel to make some very hard choices. It’s  also our B&N YA Book Club selection for November and so we were thrilled to get a chance to talk with the author about her obsessions, how she finds her ideas — and the extras she’s included inside the B&N Exclusive Edition of The Fountains of Silence.

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.

The Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition contains behind-the-scenes artifacts, photos, deleted scenes and source materials from Ruta Sepetys’s personal archive and travel log, offering an intimate and in-depth look at her writing process.


Explore all books by Ruta Sepetys.

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