Sunday, September 22, 2013

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta Sepetys

Genre: Historical Fiction
*Many people in GoodReads have this listed as Young Adult but my library had it shelved in the adult fiction

Synopsis: In 1941, fifteen year old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer.  But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother.  They are being sent to Siberia.  Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp.  All is lost.

Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing.  She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.

It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day.  But will love be enough to keep them alive?
From the book jacket

Review:  This was a beautifully written story about an atrocities that happened to Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians.  I personally didn't know what had happened and I'm quite appalled.  I felt so sorry for Lina and her family and I'm amazed at their ability to survive and to have the attitudes that they did.  I'm glad that there was an epilogue so I knew what happened to Lina in the future but it was also quite depressing to find out how long she endured being in a labor camp.  This story is quite engaging and is a fast read.  The chapters are very short.  You can read this book in little time.  The one thing I didn't care for was all the flashbacks where Lina talked about her life pre-labor camp.  They just seemed a little contrived.  But overall, a fabulous read.

Rating: 4 stars

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