Review: Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a beautifully written book. The characters were vibrant and well developed. However, like most books that deal with difficult topics such as genocide, it was not an easy book to listen to. As a history buff, I was somewhat familiar with Stalin's horrific treatment of the Lithuanians, but not the extent as Hitler's treatment of the Jews. This book is certainly an introduction to what many of these people suffered.

Although the narrative was set in desolate Siberia and even though its characters suffered unimaginable cruelties, it wasn't just doom and gloom. Between the shades of gray of the storyline were small moments of love, kindness, perseverance, and hope. These moments added a humanity to the narrative that was tangible and awe-inspiring. I don't know if I could have survived with my humanity in tack. Books like Between Shades of Gray are important because they tell about moments in history when humanity is at its absolute worst and best. Stories like these need to be told so that these events and people are not forgotten.

This is a difficult, but beautiful and worthwhile read.

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