Reading for a Lifetime Together

Between Shades of Gray
December 7, 2012, 3:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Joseph Early

Lina and her family are living a normal life in Lithuania until one day when they are ordered to leave their homes by the NKVD, the force of Soviet Soldiers. Lina’s father is gone at the time so her, her mother Elena, and her brother Jonas are all brought to a military vehicle and taken to a train station with many other confused people. They are ordered into cattle cars and forced to travel with other people who they’ve never met before. They meet the grouchy woman, Miss Grybas, Mrs. Arvydas and her son Andrius, the bald man, and Ona who all make an impact on Lina’s life in the coming years. The group spends weeks in agony in the cars, fearful of what lies ahead. They are eventually let off and most of the groups of people are bought, except for Lina’s and one other so they are brought to a Labor Camp. Here, Lina and the rest of the group are forced into horrible living conditions and have to work day and night with almost no food to live on. They resort to stealing and the generosity of others in order to survive. Lina starts to become closer to everyone here and wishes everyday to return to her old life. While working here she develops a deep hatred for Kretzsky, one of the soviet officers and often escapes the pain she is in by drawing pictures of her surroundings. The following year she and many others are deported once again to an area near the north pole. She now misses Andrius, who was starting to mean more to her than ever before, and the labor camp which seemed like a paradise compared to her new arrangement. Once again the group learns to perservere due to Elena’s encouragement but eventually Lina’s mother dies and Lina is left all alone with Jonas. He then becomes sick and when all hope seems lost an inspector arrives at the camp and cures his scurvy. At the end of the book Lina finally learns to accept her situation and hang on to the glimmer of hope that her father is still alive and that she will be reunited with Andrius someday.

“Between Shades of Gray” is a really enjoyable book. I found it very interesting to hear about this side of the war that not many people even realize occurred. Lina was a character that was really easy to relate to and very fun to read about and I found that it was very hard to put the book down because I always wanted to find out what was going to happen to Lina and her family next. Reading this book made me realize how even when things seem like they are going really bad, there is always something to be happy for and to help pull you through those hard times. I would definitely recommend reading this book.


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