Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys
My five-star review:
Drawing helps Lina process life and becomes a way for her to record the horrific way she, her family, and other Lithuanians are treated as they are herded into train cars like cattle and shipped off to the frozen tundra of Siberia.
Lina, her brother, Jonas, and her mother strive to stay alive, together with people of the work camp they come to stay with. Almost beyond hope, they grasp for every scrap of food and build shelters from their surroundings, like animals to survive the cold, but many succumb to the inhabitable conditions.
Will Lina and her family survive to tell of their horrendous experience or will they be among their countrymen and women, whom Siberia and the military forces against them have beat into submission?
This beautifully rendered, tragic tale steps out of the pages of little-known history to touch the hearts of readers with hope in the harshest of conditions and the inhumane cruelty of those in political control. Between Shades of Gray is a memorial to those who survived and those who lost their dignity and their lives.
Readers of historical fiction, coming of age fiction, and historical, young adult fiction will be transported back in time to witness the courage of Lithuanians during the ethnic purging of Stalin and Hitler, around the time of WWII.
Have you read this book? What historical fiction book have you enjoyed so far this year?