In 1941, during WWII and Joseph Stalin's reign, Soviet officers arrest a gifted artist, 15-year-old Lina and her family. While her father faces the death camp, Lina, her mother and younger brother...are deported to a Siberian work camp. Lina and her fellow prisoners must endure many difficulties -- the harsh climate, unsanitary conditions, disease and hunger. At great risk, Lina documents her experiences through her meticulous drawings... Through flashbacks of Lina's former, happy life in Lithuania, readers gain an understanding of the political events. "Sepety's flowing prose gently carries readers through the crushing tragedy of this tale that needs telling" (KIRK).Sepetys believes that one-third of all citizens of the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) were deported from their homeland and forced into work camps in Siberia for decades. These camps which were just as bad as Nazi concentration camps. Apparently the Russian government still denies that they did this. For more info visit Ruta Sepetys webpage here.
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting story, told with so much heart and compassion, that I was sad when I turned the final page. I wanted more!
They took me in my nightgown.The opening line refers to the night when the NKVD (KGB) came to arrest Lina and her family.
*From page 56:
I woke with a start next to Jonas and Andrius. The door to our [box]car had been closed and locked. People began to panic. The engines let out a hiss of steam. 'Please don't move unless you absolutely have to,' ordered Miss Grybas... 'Miss Book Lady? Will you tell us a story?' asked the girl with the dolly.So begins the nightmare train ride to Siberia.