Between Shades of Gray is a heartbreaking, hauntingly beautiful story. Written like a memoir the book chronicles the Vilkas family who are removed from their home in Lithuania during Stalin's Reign and are eventually taken to a camp in Siberia. I have read quite a few books that surround the Holocaust but this is the first I have read that spoke of Stalin's reign. Like Lina, the author created a vivid picture, the pages come alive with the horror and the pain, but also with the hope and the love. Sepetys told the story like it really was, never sugarcoating a moment. The book is heart-wrenching, you almost have to resist peeling your eyes away from the pages because the horror described is difficult to read at times. The book may be based on fictional characters but the terror that is described in this book are real. People lived the same lives that Lina shared with us and endured.
Ruta Sepetys created such a riveting and memorable cast of characters. Each tells their own story and you begin to care for and fall in love with all of them. This book is not just a book about the horror that occurred during Stalin and Hitlers time. It is about a mothers love, the distance she will go to protect her children. It is about a family's love and loyalty. Between Shades of Gray is a story about survival. Pain, heartache, hope and strength. If I had to sum this book up in one word I would say this book is...Krasivaya.
*Orginally posted on my blog 'The Crazy Bookworm' www.crazy-bookworm.blogspot.com