Between Shades of Gray
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Even though I found this novel exceptionally well-written, it was not a pleasure to read. It’s about Lithuanians displaced to Siberian work camps during World War II. It was pretty unflinchingly brutal, but here’s why I think you ought to read it:
1. It is a side of World War II that you might not have seen before. I certainly hadn’t heard these stories of displaced Europeans, and I have to say, having been to Lithuania on tour last year, it made so much of what they sai ...more
As soon as I saw this video, I knew I had to read this novel. Between Shades of Gray isn't the type of book I'd normally read, but I'm extremely glad that I decided to read it.
Lina is a very strong and courageous character. Despite the situation Lina is placed in at the young age of fifteen, she audaciously chooses to write about the terrible cruelties the Soviets are doing to those around her as well as her family and herself. Lina is an artist, and she uses this talent ...more
Despite her father’s caution, 15-year-old Lena Vilkas, her 10-year-old brother Jonas and their mother Elena ar ...more
Step on my heart, cut it wide open, rub it with salt and feed it to the sharks.. Or just make me read this book, because this is how it feels like reading this story.
How can I call “wonderful” a book full of so many horrors?
...But I will, because it really is, and what pains me the most is that it's all true, that this is a really tiny part of the darkest piece of our history as human beings.
You thought this was repugnant?!
These writings may shock or horrify you, but that is not my intention. It is my greatest hope that the pages in this jar stir your deepest well of human compassion. I hope they prompt you to do something, to tell someone. Only then can we ensure that this kind of evil is never allowed to repeat itself.
So I read this last night, and I went to work this morning. I was so deeply affected by this story, and my mind kept drifting back to Lina and Jonas and the countless real victims of the Baltic ...more
Um... so I'm a bit torn on this one but I'm going to rate it 3.5 stars. I think what made it worse was all the bloody hype (like with Matched) that made me think this was going to blow my mind and it kind of just, well, didn't.
It was an interesting history lesson. My knowledge of Soviet activities was previously more political than social and anything I did know of the more personal impact on people's lives was what I'd gained from German museums telling the story of the Berlin wall. It's true ...more
Let me justify my seemingly harsh rating. First things first, let me provide you with some (probably not necessitated) background into my interest in this book: I am an avid studier of Lithuanian history. I have rigorously researched this time period prior to this book's creation, thus I was absolutely overjoyed when I got wind of its publishing. It's abo ...more
This book is a novel, but is actually based on history, during WWII. this story is written from the perspective of a teenager named Lina. she and her family are taken from their home in Lithuania by the Soviets. This story tracks the next year plus of all hardships they go through. The labor camps, the illnesses that struck, the deaths of fellow Lithuanians, cruel degrading treatment and more.
much is known about Hitler's ...more
"'NKVD officers are walking by the train with rifles,' I said. 'There are some men in dark suits looking at the train cars.'
We felt a jolt and the train began to move.
'There's luggage everywhere,' I said. 'And lots of food on the platform.' People groaned. The station looked eerie, desolate, frozen with only remnants of the chaos that had taken place. There were single shoes strewn about, a cane, a woman's purse lying open, and an orphaned teddy bear...'There's a priest. He's ...more
When I read this quote my reaction was this:
What can I say? I am still recovering from this book. I mean literally recovering. It touched me in a way that Made me cry more than ever, made me feel mad, made me feel disgusted, and made me realize the horrors that these people had to go through. It made me realize what they had to suffer because they helped people or they were well educate ...more
I don't know how I missed this one when it first came out. I am glad to have "found" it late! I simply loved this book and am deeply moved -- solid 5 star read.
There are many reviews that summarize the plot nicely, so I am not going to attempt that here!
What I Liked
* It was important to learn about this space in history where the Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians were rounded up by the Russians and sent to Siberian p ...more
Although Shades of Gray is about a fictional family the story is the truth of what happened to many innocen ...more
I wish I hadn't waited for so long. Unfortunately I don't think my review will do this novel justice.
I don't want to say that this book wasn't heartbreaking or that watching the disturbi ...more
First off, this was beautifully written. I watch a lot of stand up comedy and one of the most important things about a comedy set is delivery; how the joke is said, the timing, the inflections, etc. This is such a verbal thing that I have never thought of delivery in terms of writing but Sepetys has great delivery. I mean that she kno ...more
I'm a Christian. I don't mess with cursing. It's so clearly against everything our holy, pure, God stands ...more
“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.”
What a touching story! World War II brought misery to the world, it's common knowledge; However, what isn't though is how the life of the residents of the countries on USSR borders transformed. What they suffered, how much pain they went through and everything they had to endure, to survive. Told from the perspective of a young hopeful artist, Between Shades of Gray shows us the ...more
I can't believe I always used to say that historic fiction is boring – I think I've just read the wrong books. This novel had such a powerful message and together with its rich and vivid characters, it made even the bleakest setting shine. Between Shades of Gray has such a sad and infuriating background – telling the story of a Lithuanian family captured and deported to Siberia by the Soviets in the early 1940s – but its prose and its heroi ...more
Lina is our protagonist who lives in Lithuania in the 1940's and one night the NKVD (widely known later as the KGB) bust through her family's home and take her mom, little brother, and herself to an unknown location. Her father has been taken ea ...more
The only reasons it doesn't get five stars from me only because it didn't hit me emotionally as I thought it would. Maybe because of how popular and hyped this book is I thought I would be a bit of wreck when I read it but for some reason I didn't cry at all. I can't really pinpoint why but maybe my expectations w ...more
Ruta Sepetys's descriptions and characterizations are ...more
It is difficult to imagine during Stalin's "reign of terror" that more than twenty million people, a third of the population of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were annihilated!
This book tells the story of fifteen year old Lina and her family and their struggle for survival after being taken from their home in 1941 Lithuania and thrown into cattle cars.
(view spoiler)[Lina's love of drawing and for Andrius and her family give her the will...more
Between Shades of Gray (spelled ‘g-r-A-y) is the debut novel by Ruta Sepetys. It is one of those books that you hear great things about and really want to read but may put off actually reading because the subject matter doesn’t sound all that entertaining. After all, just how much fun can a book about forced deportation and So ...more
I implore you to read this book as there was a concerted governmental effort to bury what happened t ...more
Tears...tears...raw, honest, helpless tears kept streaming down my face while I was reading this. I didn't even bother to prevent them because it was useless anyway. Reading this book was a very humbling experience and I admire the author for her courage in writing this eye opening historical novel.
The writing style is so sincere and every word shot me to my very core. Reading the book was like reading the diary of an actual 15 year old girl who suffered the dark and evil reign of the USSR in t ...more
It's times like this I wish I was a crier. This was not an easy read. It definitely ranks up there with my other historical favourites A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Girl You Left Behind.
I must admit Lina was quite reckless at times but she was 15 years old! Also I do normally prefer a bit more romance and fun scenes but I felt so much emotion by the end of the book. Eventhough I wanted more I felt the ending was perfect for the type of book it is. Definitely recommend if you enjoy war ...more
|The 2016 Reading ...: World-Lit Group Read (Eastern Europe) - October 2016 - Between Shades of Gray||5||10||Oct 22, 2016 12:11PM|
|All About Books: Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys (September 2016)||99||65||Oct 02, 2016 11:02AM|
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