Monday, January 17, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Here's a blurb about the book from Ms. Sepetys' website: In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.

Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they 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, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

My Take

Once I started this book, I literally could not put it down.  The harrowing story of survival that Lina and her family endure was amazing.  My son was taught about Stalin's massacres in school.  To be honest, it was so long ago for me, I don't remember whether our history class included that info or not. 

This book was lovely even in the moments it was horrifying.  My heart broke for Lina and her family.  But even in profound sadness there were small celebrations and hope for the future.  This book took me through despair and brought me back out the other side.  It ranks up there as one of the better books I've read in 2010.  And while it's fiction it's based in facts that everyone should know and never forget.  Ms. Sepetys did extensive research and it's obvious.  Her book is beautiful and will live inside you long after you've closed it's cover.  This one gets five kisses from me!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Librarything as part of their early book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

  1. I had the same reaction while reading this book. I could not put it down and actually read it in one sitting. It broke my heart and I learned so much about a period in history that I was completely ignorant of. Thanks for adding your positive thoughts to the blogosphere! This book is so deserving of great press.


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