Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages 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, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
If you’re a fan of historical fiction like The Book Thief or Code Name Verity, chance are that you’ll like this book. It may also break your heart a little.
What I really liked about this book was the fact that it went into detail about a part of the war that isn’t talked about as much. It focused on Russia and the work camps in Siberia and I found it was a really interesting read. It was hard to read at times though because of the horrific things that were happening. It was definitely worth the read though, and I really felt like I learnt quite a bit.
I got quite attached to some of the characters too, and I really felt for Lina the whole way through. Her story was so horrific and I just wanted to give her a hug throughout the whole book. I had to know if she’d be alright, and if she ever saw her father again, and what would happen to Andrius. There were so many reasons to keep reading! This book really broke my heart at times, but it was so good! It got me really emotional at times and it’s a really sad book, but I will happily recommend it to anybody.