Jendimmick's Reviews > Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Aug 02, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya
Read from October 04 to 09, 2011

You know about Hitler's heinous crimes, but did you know about Stalin's? I bet you don't, but if you have the emotional strength and courage, then you should allow fifteen-year-old Lina describe what happened to her and her Lithuanian family in 1941. Guilty of being an academic, and therefore a threat to the Soviet regime that has annexed the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Lina's beloved father disappears. He is removed to an unspecified prison camp designed to eliminate all intellectual and political threats to Stalin. On the heels of his disappearance, the Soviet secret police seize Lina, her brave and beautiful mother and her innocent ten-year old brother Jonas. Their harrowing journey begins crammed in cattle cars with thousands of other Baltic citizens sentenced to years of hard labor in remote Siberia. Lina's artwork, inspired by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (you know, The Scream?), becomes her salvation. At great personal risk, Lina uses ashes and handkerchiefs to document the atrocities that she witnesses, in hopes of getting a message out to her father. The story is heartbreaking and beautiful. It is historical fiction at its best: painstakingly researched by the American daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, the historical events ring as true as the complex characters. Listen to author Ruta Sepetys describing her research in the video on the novel’s website:, but grab some tissues first.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Between Shades of Gray.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.