In the cruel winter of 1945, four very different young people narrate their stories. Joana, Emilia and Florian are part of desperate group of refugees trekking across Germany, bound together only by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Alfred is a German soldier stationed on that ship.
This hugely touching, inspirational novel is based on a true story. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. It is the biggest maritime disaster in history, killing more people than the Titanic. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, has brilliantly brought this story to light and created a group of unforgettable characters with unmissable stories.