Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by SuptaRuta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray

Good Reads Summary
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.

My Thoughts


I don’t think I put it down once I actually got started. It’s got the best and the worst of humanity, but it was the best that had me breathing deep. Elena, in particular stands foremost in my mind. That she clung to hope through every single thing they went through, but what was even was more remarkable was what a good soul she was. A loving mother, without a doubt but it was her treatment of others that sticks out. Forgiving and thoughtful of possibilities seem the most apt descriptive. As it’s these two that became evident in not only how she treated those in her situation but supposed enemy as well.

Her children too showed strengths of their own. Jonas was a wonder to behold as he trucked on despite his age. Yet, as is expected it’s Lina who had me bawling. Her desire to get home, her desire to see her father again; I wanted all those things with her. In fact I might even say I felt what she was feeling, her frustration, anger… fear, all just came clear across.

And though I’m not particularly religious, it’s when they read a verse from Psalms that had me assessing if I wanted to go on. The verse was them you see.

This must needs stressing: Powerful


P.S. Read the Notes

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