PrePub Pick: The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

PrePub Pick: The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys Banner Photo

A Mesmerizing YA Historical Romance Sheds Light on Franco Dictatorship

Ruta Sepety’s fourth novel, The Fountains of Silence, enthralls and educates teen and adult readers in the experiences of people whose histories often  skimmed over in American-centric history classes, this time under the Francoist Spain dictatorship in 1957. Sepety’s maintains her unique ability to accurately describe terrible scenes gracefully, without ever having to rely on shock and awe to hold the attention of the reader. 

Sepety brings her talents and respect to Francoist Spain 1957. Life is repressed under the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and Ana Torres Moreno is a 17 year-old “red” orphan who works as a  housekeeper in the newly opened Castellana Hilton Madrid. Ana clocks long hours to help support her remaining family, and to pay the “rent” on her mother’s grave plot, which is required in order to prevent eviction into a mass grave.  Spain and the United States have reached an agreement in which US military bases will open in the strategically placed locations within the country, in exchange for economic support. Investors, particularly in oil, flock from places like Texas to strike deals and shake hands. 

Daniel Matheson’s father is one of these oil men. Daniel is an aspiring photographer who has just graduated high school, and travels to Spain with his Spanish mother and Texan father for the summer. Early in his trip Daniel captures a picture that propels his investigation, and documentation, of some of Spain’s darkest moments in history. With Ana’s assistance, along with a few friends and mentors he meets during his stay, Daniel’s work leads to revelations that will take decades to come to light. 

Written in many short chapters and multiple points-of-view, the action is fast-paced. Ana and Daniels initial encounter sparks a companionship that leaves them both hoping for the other’s heart. Though this novel’s dark nature is undeniable, the flirtations, descriptions of longing, and sort-of HEA hit the romance criteria. Adults, older teens, and historical fiction fanatics simply must pick this satisfying gem of a book. Highly recommended! 

Place a hold on The Fountains of Silence by clicking here!

Many thanks to NetGalley's Bookish First and Philomel Books/Penguin Teen for providing me an ARC this title in exchange for an honest review.

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Westwood’s Top 100 Books (Adult & YA) for 2018

Westwood’s Top 100 Books (Adult & YA) for 2018 Banner Photo

2018 was a great year for books at the Westwood Public Library. We hosted some wonderful authors (and you can expect more author talks in 2019!), expanded our Librarian Book Buzz Panels, and rolled out two new services: ReadNext! Personalized Reading Suggestions and Homebound Delivery! Check out our 2018 Top 100 Titles- not only to see reading trends here in Westwood, but to also get some ideas for your next read! 

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Q: Why are the Books Wrapped in Caution Tape?

Q: Why are the Books Wrapped in Caution Tape? Banner Photo

A: September 27−October 3, 2015 is Banned Books Week!

Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view. Thousands of libraries and bookstores across the country will celebrate the freedom to read by participating in special events, exhibits, and read-outs that showcase books that have been banned or threatened. (Source:

Celebrate your freedom to read by....

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