Between Shades of Gray if a book about Lithuanian refugees deported to Siberian work camps by the Soviets during World War II. The book is a side of a story that everyone thinks they have heard, but it’s not. These work camps were different. They continued on long after the war and even after the refugees came home they were kept silent with promises of more torture.
Truthfully I had trouble connecting with the characters. At least until the last moments. (I don’t want to give away exactly why, but let’s say the main character does something very selfless after all she’s been through.) Although the book is written in first person there is a detachment as though we are still watching the story from above instead of through Lina’s heart and eyes. There are times when we really feel her pain – being overwhelmed by the tight space in the train, a soldier inappropriately touching her, her sketching a woman she saw beaten by the Soviets. I don’t know if it’s a mechanism for the author to protect herself, and the reader, or if it’s a way for the ending to have that much more impact.