Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

First of all, happy 3rd birthday to my church!

betweenshadesofgraySecondly, Between Shades of Gray, which, by the way, is not connected in any way to Fifty Shades of Gray.  Between Shades of Gray is a young adult novel about 15-year-old Lina, a Lithuanian refugee, in the time of Joseph Stalin.

The book was fascinating, sad, brutal, and important.

It seems to me that while there are many books recounting the horrors of the Holocaust at the hand of Adolf Hitler, there are relatively few stories sharing the atrocities of Stalin (who, by the way, is responsible for more deaths than Hitler).

With the exception of The Book Thief, historical fiction is generally not my favorite to read (although I was a history minor in undergrad!).  That said, this novel is so important and eye-opening.  It drew me in, this story of a promising young artist being deported to Siberia with her mother and brother– for reasons she didn’t know.  It’s a lovely story of the ferocity of the human will, and it definitely made me cry.

Stories like these are hard for me– and often result in a one-time-through read (i.e. Snow Flower and the Secret FanThe Casual Vacancy, etc.).  That said, I cannot stress what an important book this is– and I recommend it.

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