Bistro Book Club

Friday, December 9, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (3 reviews)


rebecca,    13
ruta septys
between shades of gray
philomel books    2011

          Lina and her family are taken by the NKVD and sent to a camp in Russia. they are separated from their father. Lina her little brother Jonas and her mother must survive living in this barren waste land of a camp. Andrius a 17 year old boy is with them too. Can she survive Russia and its version of the holocaust?

  5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Anqi,     12
Ruta E. Sepetys     
Between Shades of Gray
Philomel Books    2011       

Between Shades of Gray is a heart-wrenching yet beautiful historical novel set in the country of Lithuania, where Stalin, the ruthless man who controls The Soviet Union, has captured The Baltics, also known as the countries of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. Our heroine, a fifteen year old girl named Lina on the cusp of adult life, is terrified to learn that her mother, brother, and father have been arrested and are going to be deported far from Lithuania. Forced to ride a cattle train where multiple deportees ride and ache over problems of lice, food, and torturous care, Lina contemplates the possible reasons her family could have been deported by. Enraged by this sudden cruelty, Lina devises a plan to draw and write out her troubles so that hopefully someone will save these melancholy people. Using her unique artistic talent, she sketches every moment that is important to her, and hides them in the depths of her suitcase. Cold and hungry, the deportees finally reach Siberia, where they are set to work in the freezing conditions and not allowed anything besides basic necessities. Set on the brink of World War II, this is a story seldom told because of the fear circulated through survivor's minds that if they do not harbor this cruel secret, they would have been surely punished by the Soviet's secret police. Through beautiful/gruesome passages, Ruta E. Sepetys describe the hardships endured by these people, people with seeds of hope planted deep in their hearts, and love sowed into their souls. She also creates endless characters, some disgusting and cruel, like "the bald man" who always is wanting to die, and Lina's mother, Elena, who is a beautiful and loving mother to her dearest children. All the characters, even minor ones, stay fresh in my memory, each stamped with their own personality and beam of hope. Ruta E. Sepetys is an exceptional author, and one is not to underestimate her just because this is a debut novel. It is, in fact, a beautiful, gritty, wonderful, morbid collection of words that should always deserve special attention and a place in your memory. Thank you, Ruta Sepetys, for a wonderful piece in which I will always savor and remember.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Hope,   15
Ruta Sepetys
Between Shades of Gray 
Philomel Books    2011   

      Lina was only fifteen when her world was torn apart. One night Soviet Secret police violently break in into her home and deport her, her younger brother and her mother, on Stalin’s orders. Separated from her father, cut off from the outside world and losing hope fast, Lina must learn to survive in the harsh labor camps of barren Siberia. She has no idea why this happened to her family; why were they on Stalin’s list? Laced with potent flash-backs to a happier time, this novel follows Lina as she uncovers the truth about love, hope, survival, and the value of human life. This novel will have you reaching for the tissues more than once.

4 Better than most

1 comment:

  1. This book was awesome. It was very sad and told about a real event that most people don't know about. I would defiantly suggest this for anyone who loves history.

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