Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Essay

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Essay

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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, is one of the most famous historical fiction books ever written. This 352 paged book has inspired many teens to acknowledge the Genocide of Baltic people. Ruta Sepetys was inspired to write a fiction book instead of a non-fiction book based on the stories she heard from survivors of the genocide during a visit to her relatives in Lithuania. She interviewed dozens of people during her stay. Between Shades of Gray was her first novel that she had written. This book was interpreted well enough by the readers to become a New York Times Bestseller.
Lina Vilkas is a fifteen year old girl who is the protagonist of this story. She was taken, by the NKVD, from her house with her mother and brother to exile. Later in the story she meets Andrius and falls in love with him. She marries him after the war while moving from place to place. Andrius uses his misfortune as a fortune to help others. He takes care of Lina and her family as best he can. Nikolai Kretzsky is a young NKVD officer who helps Lina and her mother even after Lina insulted him. Mr Stalas is a Jew who is deported with the other people. He wanted to die with dignity. He is often referred to as The Bald Man. He confesses that he was liable for the deportation. Janina is a starry-eyed young girl who likes to help others and to talk to her "dead" doll. When few selected people are brought to the North Pole for more suffering, dozens of people die from cholera and pneumonia. Lina however, survives and manages to save Jonas and Janina with the help of Nikolai Kretzsky.
Between Shades of Gray is based on these people and how they survived the suffering which makes the reader interested. The story starts off with Lina...


... middle of paper ...


... of this story is the will to survive. The will to survive is strong in all the characters though there are some who seem to expect they will die at any time. Lina is furious with herself when she stooped low enough to accept food thrown at her by the guards, but she does it anyway. Even the youngest children realize the need to endure the torture and survive. Jonas finds a barrel and comprehends that it could be made into a stove. Janina finds a dead owl and realizes that it could be eaten. This will to survive sometimes results in anger and selfishness, as seen in Ulyushka when forced to share her shack with Lina’s family.
This book should be read by everyone. Between Shades of Gray has a lot of themes that is useful for people in their lives. The style of writing would keep the reader interested and make the reader want to know what is going to happen next.

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