“Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages 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, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.” –from Goodreads
This book was amazing. It was touchingly emotional and beautifully written; as well as painfully realistic and with terrifying circumstances, situations, and other details. The characters were as deep as the story. The characters in this book go through so many terrible and awe-inspiring things that it’s incredible, as well as terribly upsetting and heart breaking because the situation under Stalin happened. Author Ruta Sepetys even says that a lot of the things that happened in the story are based on real survivors’ accounts. It was scary at times, depressing, encouraging, depressing, and all of those elements just made it so authentic. This beautiful book is not an easy book to read, at times I wanted to cry or put the book down or something when I read more about the journey Lina was on, because it was just that emotional, but all of those things that made the book are just so important I think because so much of it is true. A must-read if you’re into historical fiction, finding out more about history, or just a dramatically amazing story, you’ll adore Between Shades of Gray!
ARC through program at my library! Thanks!