Reading for a Lifetime Together

Between Shades of Gray
November 3, 2012, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Lina, Jonas, and their mother were abruptly awoken one night to the pounding of German soldiers who are giving them twenty minutes to evacuate. With no warning and no explanation of why they are being taken and being separated from their father, they pack up what they can carry and follow the orders of the men. They were put on a truck with other people who also were confused and scared. Why wouldn’t they be? They had no idea what was happening.

When the long truck ride was finally over, they were put on a train headed for Siberia. The conditions were awful. People were dying, they barely had enough food and water to survive, they were getting sick, but it would only get worse. During the ride they met some friends. An older boy by the name of Andrius, his mother, Ona,  who just recently had a baby, a bald man, Mrs. Rimas, and Miss Grybas. All these people would affect the lives of the Vilkas’.

When they were taken off the train they were taken to a camp where they are forced to work for food rations of 300 grams of bread each day and what they can steal and find. Lina finds comfort in her drawings. She is a very talented artist, but she has to hide them from the officers or she will be severely punished. She draws thinking that her drawings will get to her father and he will find his way to his family, but little does she know that her father is thousands of miles away in a prison. Lina soon finds out that the boy who she thought was trustworthy and caring was working for the NKVD. She calls him a traitor but she had no idea that he had no choice, if his mother didn’t sleep with the officers, Andrius would be shot and killed. She felt awful and all she wants is for Andrius to forgive her. He eventually does, and he figures things out that would put Lina and her family through more than they could handle.

Lina, Jonas, Elena, the bald man, and Mrs. Rimas were all taken to the Arctic Circle where it was the coldest temperatures they had ever been through. The living conditions here made the previous camp look like a resort. They had to make their houses out of what they could find in the forest, and with the winter coming they had very little time to do so. They had so little food now, more people were dying, everyone was sick including Jonas, and their mother. She was weak, she couldn’t move, she wouldn’t eat, until one day Nikolai Kretzsky brought the bad news. Their father, whom they had been hoping and praying was coming to save them, was announced dead. He was shot at the prison. Elena couldn’t take any more pain. She went back to her shack, and she laid until finally she breathed her last breath and died. She was buried, but not forgotten.

Finally, something good happened. A doctor came to each of the shacks and helped all who were sick. Jonas was in need of help. He again was plagued with scurvy. The doctor luckily knew how to help. All he needed was fish and soup to get the feeling better again, and within a few days he was feeling well again. As the book comes to an end, Lina made her way outside to go chop some wood. As  she went outside, she saw something that she thought she might never live to see again; sunlight. She knew that she could make it through anything if she made it through that brutal, long, cold, winter.

Between Shades of Gray is an amazing book. It shows how even when things get bad for you, and life looks like it can’t get any better that you have to keep pushing and not give up. Anyone would enjoy reading this.



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