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.