Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea


Ruta Sepetys

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Salt to the Sea: 101. Joana Summary & Analysis

Joana can barely understand what Emilia, “gripped with pain and terror” is saying in a mixture of German and Polish. She screams variations of “Liar. Liar. Help me, Mama!” to which Joana is unable to respond.
Emilia feels guilty that she has lied about what has happened to her, and also feels guilty about her pregnancy. In this moment, because she feels certain she is going to die, she tries to reveal the truth behind her fantasy life.
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Alfred comes into the infirmary and Joana sends him to get Dr. Richter. However, the doctor does not come quickly enough and so Joana must deliver the child alone. Emilia pushes her baby, “a perfect little bird,” into Joana’s waiting arms.
Emilia often uses storks as a stand-in for family and home. That her baby is described as a “bird” suggests that Emilia’s child can help her create a new family and a home somewhere new.  
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