Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

No not those shades of grey!  This is the story of a 15 year old Lithuanian girl who, along with her family, is deported to Siberia by the Soviets during the Stalinist purges of the 1940’s.  One one hand, this was a very interesting read, because this is not a part of history I knew really anything about and it’s filled another little hole in my knowledge.  On the other hand, it’s a depressingly familiar story of the cruelty we humans are capable of – I’ve come across it all before in stories of the concentration camps of WWII, for example.
Nonetheless I would highly recommend this book.  It’s heart rending, yes, but it’s also beautifully written.  The characters are really believable and enjoyable to spend time with, in spite of their horrific circumstances.  Watching them refuse to be crushed or dehumanised by their captors makes the book a really riveting and moving read.  5 stars!

One response

  1. Thank you for this review! Reading it prompted me to borrow this book and I am finding it a really moving read. The main character is so engaging, describing her experience with maturity, insight and humanity. This book shines a light into a very dark part of history… a chance to reflect on how every act of kindness humanises us and those around us and every act of cruelty dehumanises the perpetrator not the victim.


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