Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
When I grow up, I hope I can string words together as beautifully as Ruta Sepetys. I mean, seriously guys. She’s an incredible writer! She’s also ridiculously kind as I was lucky enough to meet her earlier this year.
This book is beautiful and heart breaking and hopeful and tragic. I definitely recommend it!
They are also making this book a movie that comes out next year, but changing the name to Ashes in the Snow because anything with Shades and Gray definitely has a much different meaning now thanks to a certain Twilight fanfic 🙂