In Lithuania, on June 14, 1941 fifteen year old Lina was settled at her desk in her pajamas ready to write a letter to her cousin Joana. A hard, loud,...moreIn Lithuania, on June 14, 1941 fifteen year old Lina was settled at her desk in her pajamas ready to write a letter to her cousin Joana. A hard, loud, booming knock sounded at the door. In stormed the NKVD, the Russian Secret Service. They took Lina, her ten year old brother and her mother, arrested her and threw her on a truck. So begins Lina’s harrowing journey at the hands of Stalin. She endures more than anyone should ever have to, all the while keeping hope alive through her artwork and the coded messages she sends to her father, and the relationships with the others she makes on her journey. Shades of Gray is a heart-wrenching read that you won’t be able to put down, as you root for Lina, shudder over the atrocities of war, and gain a glimpse into history.
I am so glad that someone suggested we read this book for our bookclub because I don't think I would have picked it up otherwise. And once I started reading I couldn't put it down. What a wonderful mix of sorrow and hope all rolled in to one. It does what the best historical fiction does - opens up a time in history that I hardly know about and makes me want to learn more, makes me want to ask others, "hey, did you know about this?" The writing is beautiful, and the section where the title is discussed is just so beautiful.
I throughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.(less)
This is the story of two lives. Ben lives in 1977, and his mother has just died. He wishes more than anything that she were still alive – he doesn’t f...moreThis is the story of two lives. Ben lives in 1977, and his mother has just died. He wishes more than anything that she were still alive – he doesn’t fit in with his relatives who have taken him in, and no one understands him. Rose lives in 1927, and no one understands her either. She’s Deaf, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t long for adventure – something that her family denies her. When Ben finds a secret in his mother’s old room, and when Rose reads a headline in a newpaper, both set off on journeys that they hope give them an adventure, and help them find someplace they can truly be themselves. This is the story of two lives, but Ben and Rose’s lives will intertwine, in ways that will leave both them, and you - the reader, Wonderstruck.
So wonderful and just such a magical journey. The way Selznick segues between stories is just seamless -- and how you know they are both wonderful is that when you are reading Ben's story, you can't help wondering about Rose, and when you are reading Rose's you can help wondering about Ben.
I loved the play with museums, and the homage to From the Mixed-up Files, and the Deaf culture aspect.
11-year-old Audrey has a hard life. The oldest of four girls, she lives with her Mommy and Daddy in the coal mining town of Jewell Valley in southwest...more11-year-old Audrey has a hard life. The oldest of four girls, she lives with her Mommy and Daddy in the coal mining town of Jewell Valley in southwest Virginia in 1948. Her family is poor, living on the scripts her Daddy earns from working in the coal mines. They don’t have a refrigerator, and thanks to her Daddy’s drinking, they often don’t have food. But there is hope in Audrey’s life as well. She has a wonderful new friend Virgil, and loves her teacher. But something will happen that will change Audrey’s life forever. And nothing will ever be the same again. Based on author Ruth White's family, Little Audrey is a fascinating look at a life very different from others, filled with sadness, hope and triumph.
_________________________________ A very short read, I had a difficult time getting in to Little Audrey. I don't normally pick up historical fiction like this, but did since we were reading it for the CLCSC book club. Ultimately, I was glad I did. White give a glipse into a very different world that one that I think many people know today, illustrating just what it was like to be poor in a coal mining town. And the ending made it all worthwhile for me, as I think that last chapter was just so beautiful.(less)
I read this one the first time a long time ago, and had been keeping it on my shelf of favorite romances. Since I need more room in my place, I'm tran...moreI read this one the first time a long time ago, and had been keeping it on my shelf of favorite romances. Since I need more room in my place, I'm transitioning a lot of favorites on to my Kindle. I thought with the transfer there should also be a re-read and it was nice to see that I enjoyed this story just as much a second time around.(less)