Between Shades of Gray (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/4/3
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"Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both."--The Washington Post
From New York Times bestseller Ruta Sepetys, author of Salt to the Sea
A New York Times notable book
An International Bestseller
A Carnegie Medal Nominee
Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?
A moving and haunting novel for readers of The Book Thief
Praise for Between Shades of Gray:
“A superlative first novel. A hefty emotional punch.”--The New York Times Book Review
“Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both.”--The Washington Post
"Beautiful…a superb though grueling novel.”--The Wall Street Journal
“An eye-opening reimagination of a very real tragedy written with grace and heart.”--Los Angeles Times
“An engrossing and poignant story of the fortitude of the human spirit in a dark time in Lithuanian history.”--Associated Press
“Brave Lina is a heroine young and old readers can believe in.”--Entertainment Weekly
“Please read this small window into a tragedy.”--NPR
“Beautifully written and researched, it captures the devastation of war while celebrating the will to survive.”--Family Circle
* “A harrowing page-turner.”--Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “A gripping story.”--School Library Journal, starred review
* “Bitterly sad, fluidly written…Sepetys' flowing prose gently carries readers.”--Kirkus, starred review
* "Beautifully written and deeply felt…an important book that deserves the widest possible readership.”--Booklist, starred review
“A haunting chronicle, demonstrating that even in the heart of darkness ‘love is the most powerful army.'”--The Horn Book Magazine
“Stalin deported and murdered millions, but he could not destroy the seeds of memory, compassion, and art that they left behind. From those seeds, Ruta Septeys has crafted a brilliant story of love and survival that will keep their memory alive for generations to come.”--Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Wintergirls
“In terrifying detail, Ruta Sepetys re-creates World War II coming of age all too timely today. Between Shades of Gray is a document long overdue.”--Richard Peck, Newbery Award–winning author of A Year Down Yonder
“Between Shades of Gray is a story of astonishing force. I feel grateful for a writer like Ruta Sepetys who bravely tells the hard story of what happens to the innocent when world leaders and their minions choose hate and oppression. Beautiful and unforgettable.”--Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Newbery Honor–winning author of Hitler Youth
“Sepetys has penned a harrowing and heartbreaking novel. Beautifully written and important.”--Harlan Coben, international bestselling author of Shelter
— Ruta Sepetys
The book is not a novel it is rather a collection of historical facts forced on the characters. The story is cut in the middle. At the end of the book there is one chapter that tries to wrap up the story but fails to do so.
This part of the world history is hardly known by many people (I included) and would have been an excellent book had it been written and classified as memoirs of the survivors.
Unfortunately this book is classified as a novel, the problem is that the author focused on the historical facts and forgot she was writing a novel.
“Sure, we were safe. Safe in the arms of hell.”
I don’t have a lot to say about this book because I just can’t. This book left me speechless. It was so fascinating how Ruta Sepetys wrote a tragic story to let us know the truth about the crimes of Stalin. I don’t even know how those people survived such terrible things, but as Ruta said, they had love and they survived through love. Not just love in a romantic way, it was love for a lot of things, especially their families.
I was hooked with the story since the first chapter. Ruta’s writing is beautiful, and even though this isn’t a love story (for me), it was beautiful in its own way. I liked how those people did almost the impossible to survive, to feed their children, to find their lost ones. There was sorrow, pain, suffering, loss, love but most important, there was hope. Every single death touched my heart, and when I read this book I had to hold my tears because if I started crying, I wouldn’t stop.
“Evil will rule until good men or women choose to act.”
As soon as I finished this I didn’t know what to do. You know, after reading such a tragic story is very hard to forget about it, to just pretend you didn’t read that ugly side of history… of humanity. History teachers should give this book to their students because I think is extremely important to know this side of the story… to know the truth. I know this is a story of fictional characters, but what makes it important is that this story reflects the true story that took the lives of 20 millions of innocent people, and that’s a LOT of people. I’m pretty sure most of us didn’t know this side of the story, and also we think our history classes failed us, but know you can educate yourself thanks to Ruta Sepetys.
I don’t encourage people to read this book because it is pretty or happy, because it isn’t. I encourage people because this story is important. It’s not always easy to write such a serious topic for young adults but I think Ruta did it and captured it perfectly.
I kept pausing when I’d find myself thinking of my friend Kelli’s words while reading “Beneath Shades of Gray:” “My heart is broken.” And break my heart this quiet little story did. Words, other than Kelli’s, fail me. Having had a friend whose grandfather lived through this period, this place and time, I still had no real idea of what atrocities were committed, endured. I tried to go back to reading something else this morning and closed that book. I can’t bring myself to take those other words in just yet. While this is a fictional account, the atrocities were real.
It will, hopefully, take me some time before I find myself getting upset over my charger for my laptop shooting sparks enough so my laptop remained uncharged for the last several days. As it was, I managed to get a new charger ordered with a few clicks on my phone and problem solved. Truly, there are much worse things in life than we even want to think about. Or, to borrow thoughts from Kelli again, “lucky, lucky, lucky.”
Between Shades of Grey is about a Lithuanian family that is forcibly removed from their home during World War II. I had never read anything about the Eastern European / Soviet dynamics during the war. Sixteen year old Lina is deported to Siberia along with her mother and her brother. The group is kept in circumstances that are synonymous with the concentration camps in Western Europe. Many starve or are worked to death. As Lina’s mother fights to keep what remains of her family alive and together, Lina, an artist, works to document the personalities that they meet and the events that befall them.
The book certainly warrants it’s classification in the young adult genre. The plot moves very quickly, making it quite possible to read all 350-something pages in one sitting. But, the complexity of the story is low. The language is not difficult, which plays into the speed at which the plot continues. I think the ending is the other aspect that buckets this in the young adult genre. To speak in terms of the classic structure of literature, the book’s “falling action” and “dénouement” occur in about five pages. It simply wraps up much too quickly and much too neatly.
To be honest, I didn't take that much away from this book. I enjoyed the reading of it, but the too clean ending ruined it for me. It was a very quick read, and the plot was compelling though. I did become aware of an aspect of world history that I had not previously been conscious of, which was the forced deportation of Eastern Europe by the Soviets. I think I might recommend this to middle school teachers and maybe to certain book clubs. I truly did enjoy the story, but the way that it concluded was so disappointing that I will probably sooner forget it, than pass the title along.