Between Shades of Gray

Decent Essays
Lina Vilkas is an average 15 year old girl with a prestigious art school to look forward too, typical teenage problems, and a family who loves and supports her through her everyday life. Her life as she knows it is shattered before her when Soviet secret police unexpectedly barge into their elegant
Lithuanian home one summers night in 1941, leaving nothing but broken shards of her life behind. Lina, her younger brother Jonas, and her head strong mother are separated from their father and deported to
Siberia where they endure hours of grueling work, starvation, disease, and months of bitter cold which tested their physical and emotional strength to the point of self-depletion. Along the way they find people to share their
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The novel initially began in Lithuania in the home of Lina and her family. As the story progresses they are herded into train cars in a scene of panic and chaos. The train cars are described as very filthy, congested, dark, and odorous, causing claustrophobia and possibly dementia. The train cars move north and they finally arrive in Siberia where it is barren, dim, and completely isolated from major cities. They are relocated to a plantation for vegetables where they are worked like cattle and given little to no food. Throughout the story, Lina’s thoughts turn into flashbacks where the setting is constantly changing. After a year goes by they are deported into the Arctic zone of
Siberia, completely isolated from the rest of the world and forced to work in 6 months of darkness and below freezing temperatures. They live in these conditions for 12 years until finally the Soviet’s tyrannical regime comes to an end and Lina and the other survivors are able to return to Lithuania.
Between Shades of Gray is much more than the resistance of a single person. It is more than just telling and reliving all of the roughness and malicious sides of humanity.
However heart wrenching; the story is of finding hope for survival, throughout the biting cold, the screams of pain, the pangs of hunger, and merciless evil. The novel recounts the
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