This was wonderful. A bit slow to start, but it really picked up. The story is told in 4 voices, which lends a lot of authenticity to the account, as well as a lot of variance. As I always do around Holocaust Remembrance Day, I chose a WW2 historical fiction, and yet again, I was not disappointed. This era is so richly documented historically that the historical fiction based in the time period can be thoroughly researched. The author's familial connections also lend strength to an already powerful story. History hides as much as it teaches, and the destruction of the Wilhelm Gustloff was hidden away for generations. More people died in the torpedoing of the WG than in any other shipwreck in history: over 9000 refugees, 5000 of which were children. The boat was intended for 1200: at launch, it held over 10,000. The captain and his sailors abandoned ship and took vital spots on the mere 12 lifeboats. I urge you to both read this book and read about the WG. These people deserve to be remembered.
Also, just realized Lina (Joana's cousin) is the MC from "Between Shades of Gray". That was nifty.