Between Shades of Gray is about a young fifteen-year-old girl, Lina Vilkas, that is on Stalin's extermination list. As she is deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. The novel is centred around the 1940's (beginning the novel at 1941).
This novel took my breath away. It left me feeling for all of the characters due to the tortures that had to suffer which at times left me on the brink of crying, and how the NKGB (now known as KGB) labeled them as criminals even though they were innocent.
It was hard to read about the harsh conditions, humiliations, insults that all the characters faced. Besides feeling this deep sadness for the survivors of this truly horrific experience, I could not seem to go past the amount of strength they had to (1) survive and (2) continue on with their lives after everything they have both experienced and witnessed.
As for Ruta Sepetys, the fact that she took the time to interview both the survivors and their children and research everything that ultimately occurred during that unfortunate time shows the dedication she has for this novel. Due to the amount of dedication, and research, she put into this novel ultimately shows within Between Shades of Gray's depth.
At times it was hard to read this novel, especially near the end, but it was totally worth it.
I have to recommend this novel to everyone and anyone who have not picked this novel up.
Summary from Goodreads:
It's 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin's extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It's 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?
About The Author:
Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. As an author of historical fiction, Ruta is drawn to stories of strength through struggle. Her award-winning debut novel, "Between Shades of Gray" was inspired by her family's history in Lithuania and is published in 45 countries. Her second novel, "Out of the Easy" is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950, and her third novel "Salt to the Sea" exposes one of the greatest hidden disasters of World War II. Ruta lives in a treehouse in the hills of Tennessee.
To read about Ruta's latest escapades, visit her website www.rutasepetys.com