MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Fountains of Silence

by Ruta Sepetys

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys X
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Oct 2019, 512 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Catherine M Andronik
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1

They stand in line for blood.


June's early sun blooms across a string of women waiting patiently at el matadero. Fans snap open and flutter, replying to Madrid's warmth and the scent of open flesh wafting from the slaughterhouse.


The blood will be used for morcilla, blood sausage. It must be measured with care. Too much blood and the sausage is not firm. Too little and the sausage crumbles like dry earth.


Rafael wipes the blade on his apron, his mind miles from morcilla. He turns slowly from the line of customers and puts his face to the sky.


In his mind it is Sunday. The hands of the clock touch six.


It is time.

The trumpet sounds and the march of the pasodoble rolls through the arena.

Rafael steps onto the sand, into the sun.

He is ready to meet Fear.

In the center box of the bullring sits Spain's dictator, Generalísimo Francisco Franco. They call him El Caudillo — leader of armies, hero by the grace of God. Franco looks down to the ring. Their eyes meet.

You don't know me, Generalísimo, but I know you.

I am Rafael Torres Moreno, and today, I am not afraid.

"Rafa!"

The supervisor swats the back of Rafael's damp neck. "Are you blind? There's a line. Stop daydreaming. The blood, Rafa. Give them their blood."

Rafa nods, walking toward the patrons. His visions of the bullring quickly disappear.

Give them their blood.

Memories of war tap at his brain. The small, taunting voice returns, choking daydreams into nightmares. You do remember, don't you, Rafa?

He does.

The silhouette is unmistakable.

Patent-leather men with patent-leather souls.

The Guardia Civil. He secretly calls them the Crows. They are servants of Generalísimo Franco and they have appeared on the street.

"Please. Not here," whispers Rafael from his hiding spot beneath the trees.

The wail of a toddler echoes above. He looks up and sees Julia at the open window, holding their youngest sister, Ana.

Their father's voice booms from inside. "Julia, close the window! Lock the door and wait for your mother. Where is Rafa?"

"Here, Papá," whispers Rafael, his small legs folded in hiding. "I'm right here."

His father appears at the door. The Crows appear at the curb.

The shot rings out. A flash explodes. Julia screams from above.

Rafa's body freezes. No breath. No air.

No.

No.

No.

They drag his father's limp corpse by an arm.

"¡Papá!"


It's too late. As the cry leaves his throat, Rafa realizes. He's given himself away.

A pair of eyes dart. "His boy's behind the tree. Grab him."

Rafa blinks, blocking the painful memories, hiding his collapsed heart beneath a smile.

"Buenos días, señora. How may I help you?" he asks the customer.

"Blood."

"Sí, señora."

Give them their blood.

For more than twenty years, Spain has given blood. And sometimes Rafa wonders — what is left to give?

  • 1

Excerpted from The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. Copyright © 2019 by Ruta Sepetys. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 3 months or $12 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Robert Capa

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Revisioners
    The Revisioners
    by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
    The chapters of Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's second novel, The Revisioners, alternate between three ...
  • Book Jacket: Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
    Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
    by Dexter Palmer
    The year is 1726 and the sleepy town of Godalming has been rocked by scandal. Called to the bedside ...
  • Book Jacket: Life Undercover
    Life Undercover
    by Amaryllis Fox
    Life Undercover, a riveting true-adventure memoir, reveals how and why a young woman decides to work...
  • Book Jacket: Celestial Bodies
    Celestial Bodies
    by Jokha Alharthi
    One typically expects to find a detailed family tree adorning the opening pages of, say, an epic ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Lost Man
by Jane Harper

"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian outback make it easy to give this 5-stars!"
—BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    You Were There Too
    by Colleen Oakley

    Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins
    by Katarina Bivald

    A heartwarming story of love, friendship, and the art of living.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Giveaway!
Win American Dirt

"A Grapes of Wrath for our times." - Don Winslow

This debut is already being hailed as a new American classic, and is the first book to receive a perfect 5-stars from BookBrowse reviewers!

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I I A Broke, D F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.