I actually ended up really liking the book. Other then the ending i thought it had a great story line and I loved all the details included. I loved how during the book Lina felt like she had to be strong for her mother and I also like that she feel in love with Andrius and you later find out that they get married in the epilogue. I hated how the book just ends. It doesn’t really give you an ending it just tells about their lives a few years later in the epilogue. It made me angry that the NKVD treated the women so poorly and acted as if they were objects and that made me upset that they treated them like that. There wasn’t specific lines that stood out to me but what did stand out to me was Elena. I just thought it was so cool that despite her circumstances she still held her head high and sacrificed so many things for her children and her attitude just was so good during the book and I really liked that. I would recommend this book to someone that likes to learn about history and what happened to people during wars.
I have finished the novel and the ending was not how i expected it to end and it was actually really disappointing because I still wanted to continue to read and learn more about the main characters journey. In the end her mother dies as well as their father. Lina and her brother are imprisoned on an island and they are there for 12 years. After the 12 years she is reunited with Andrius and they get married. The main theme throughout the book is that you should never take anything for granted especially life.
An important theme we thought about was when they first arrive to their camp they are going to be living at for the next few months. we thought this was important because it tells us about their living conditions and how they are being treated and what they are going to go through for the next little while. Another scene we thought was important was when she finds out that her family is there because her father helped her cousin and their family escape from Lithuania. Lina discovers that they could be in America and they basically gave up their freedom to help out their family. We thought this was important because you find out why they were on the list to be taken, and it gives you some more background knowledge about the book.
Our book highlights some events during 1941 in Lithuania when there was a war between Hitler and Stalin and the Soviet took over the Baltic States. The events from the book are about peoples lives and things they went through during that time. One thing that I discover through some more research was that at first the Soviet Soldiers were targeting specific people, but within a year the targets were indiscriminate. I also discovered that those who survived in Siberia, upon returning home in the mid 1950’s discovered that the soviet soldiers had occupied their homes and were enjoying all of their belongings. The Lithuania’s lost about 35,000 people along with Latvia losing 35,000 and Estonia losing 60,000.
In the novel, Between Shades of Gray Lina and her mother, and brother, have been taken from their home and sent to work on a farm with some other families. However none of the fathers are with the families and they don’t know where they are at. On the camp they are treated poorly by the NKVD and are not given a lot of food. They are beaten if they don’t work hard enough and they are being forced to sign a document that says they will have to labor for 25 years. Many of them refuse to sign, those who sign get to go into the village. Secretly Lina’s mother sends letters to a friend of a friend and pays people who are allowed into the village, to send the letters.
Ruta Sepetys was born in Michigan and she currently lives in Tennessee. She is the daughter of a Lithuanian Refugee and choose to write this novel because she has a personal connection to the story. Her Grandfather was an officer in the Lithuanian Army and was on the execution list, but her Grandfather and his family fled before they could be detained. She went to Lithuania many times as an adult to learn about her past. she wanted to share this story when she learned of the tragic history. Ruta Sepetys Interview
I have not finished the novel yet but I think that in the end they will find their father and hopefully escape from the NKVD. I think that in the up coming chapters they will receive letters back from the people they have sent letters to. I also think they are going to have a really hard time this winter and people will get very sick because of how cold it is going to get.
I first learned to read when I was in Kindergarten. I loved to read Junie B. Jones or The Magic Tree house series. I liked to read at my house or outside on my porch if the weather was nice. I like to read Fantasy books or Fiction. I only like to read one book at once because I sometimes get the stories mixed up so I would rather read one book at a time. My Favorite books are Fiction but I sometimes like Romance or dramatic books as well.
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