Between the shades of Gray

between the shades of greyBetween the shades of Gray written by Ruta Sepetys is a historical fiction.

This is a story of 15-year-old Lina, her mother and her brother. Their fight for survival and to see her father as their life, their country, is wrecked by Soviet Russia under the Joseph Stalin rule. This is a tale of Lithuania and other Baltic nations. And.. hey, one more thing, it might just make you cry!

“He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot.
We were about to become cigarettes.”

Being a true account of survivors, the story focuses on the cruel side of the war.  The folks are starved and abused both emotionally and physically. Lina’s befriends Andrius, as they slowly start falling in love.

“Andrius, I’m…scared.”

He stopped and turned to me. “No. Don’t be scared. Don’t give them anything Lina, not even your fear.”

In the midst of the war, people’s loyalties towards one another are tested. At a tender age, children’s innocence is destroyed.  Lina hopes for her family. Her country. And for a better life. Even under these barbaric circumstances, the writer has shown some light moments. She gazes into the profound consequences of war,  simultaneously covers the horrid details with euphemisms. Lina’s mother was a win for me, I love her so much that I wanted to hug her! What a kind and generous woman.

It made me appreciate the privilege of living in a flourishing nation free of war. It emphasises on the principle that- No human should be fleeing their motherland. It drew immediate attention towards Syria, Palestine and Gaza. The gruesome horrors committed on the people one can only imagine. The families have torn apart, folks are chastised in public and houses are turned to ashes. The war undermines the concern of human life which leaves you aghast.

The writer’s note, in the end, broke my heart. No surprises, this book is a 5/5 rating from me.

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