The Fountains of Silence

Mesmerizing, haunting, and hopeful, The Fountains of Silence is a journey of secrets in Madrid under a fascist dictatorship in the 1950s.

A secret never stays secret for long.

— Ruta Sepetys


Daniel Matheson travels to Madrid in the 1950s with his family when the Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco opens tourism decades after the end of the Spanish Civil War. He’s hoping to connect with the country through his photographs, and ends up uncovering more than he expects.

Fear brings dimension to our lives. Without fear we will never meet courage.

— Ruta Sepetys


Historical fiction is, admittedly, one of my favorite genres. However, it still has to feel invigorating and inspiring in order to draw readers in. The Fountains of Silence was no exception – I really enjoyed it!

I had no prior knowledge of Spain in the 1950s under the fascist regime of Franco. The detail incorporated about the city and buildings of Madrid, the people, the fear, and the bullfighters was so engrossing and interesting. The underlying story of the orphanages is heartbreaking, but I’m so thankful that this book is bringing awareness to the situation.

The characters are charming yet mysterious, aided by the very short chapters. At times, it’s frustrating to come to the end of a chapter after only a page and in the middle of something so intriguing! But I do think it adds to the theme of the layers of secrecy.

The only aspect of the book I found hard to fathom (mini-spoiler alert!) was the time jump in the end, and the way certain characters waited so long to find each other again. It didn’t seem likely, but it was explained well, and added to a major plot twist. It all gets tied up nicely in the end!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction through Madrid in the 1950s. Mesmerizing, haunting, and hopeful, The Fountains of Silence is a delightful read for any age!

She most certainly has faith but she also has questions. Can’t she have both?

— Ruta Sepetys


Book Details

The Fountains of Silence
by Ruta Sepetys
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Philomel Books


Mesmerizing, haunting, and hopeful, The Fountains of Silence is a journey of secrets through Madrid under fascist control in the 1950s. It's educational and endearing - a must read!

— Cassie
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