Between Shades of Gray is the debut young adult novel by Ruta Sepetys that easily caught my attention due to the strong female main character Lina. I also find the historical aspect really interesting, and I suspect that it will be extremely realistic due to the fact that Sepetys herself is a Lithuanian refugee. Considering my family is originally from Lithuania I am excited to read a novel set in a country that is often forgotten and Between Shades of Gray looks like a great first book from Sepetys who "wanted to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during Stalin's cleansing of the Baltic region." The novel itself is based on Sepetys own family history.
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.Between Shades of Gray looks to be a powerful and heartbreaking debut from Sepetys which will be published March 22nd 2011 by Philomel Books.
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.
Do you have any suggestions for books that take place in often ignored countries? What are you Waiting on this Wednesday?