I couldn’t remember how I came across this book but I was lucky that I did.
I don’t know much about Stalin’s atrocities during his reign. I heard about him in one of our history class but I guess I didn’t pay much attention to him. I was in high school then. I knew about his name and that he was no different from Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s atrocities toward Jews were clearly imprinted in my mind until now. But Stalin’s wickedness, to my shame, were vague in my mind.
But why am I saying all this, you may ask? It was my first time to read something about what happened during World War 2. I lack courage reading these kinds of books because it overwhelms me. As much as possible I tried to avoid this type because I knew this kind will haunt me even in my waking hours.
There’s something about this book that made me stopped reading it for a while. It’s painful to read something from someone clearly retold one’s painful past and then open the wound just to be able to share it to the world. How one would go through such inhumane treatment from another person would break one’s heart. When my emotions started to become normal again, I never stop from reading it until I get to the last page.
It was June 14, 1941 when Lina Vilkas along with her mother and brother Jonas were forcibly taken out of their house in the middle of the night by the NKVD. She was 15 years old then while his brother was only 10. She never saw her father again that night. Lina, her brother and mother will be sent to Siberia and had to travel by foot and by train with size 4×3 couches cramped and crowded with other Lithuanians, the same way they were pulled out from their own homes.
While inside the depressing train, there she met Andrius Arvydas, 17 years old, together with her mother. His father was in military. Like Lina, he never saw his father again.
I love romance novel specially if it has HEA. Though the story were brutal in some parts the happy ending made me love this book. Honestly I cried when someone close to Lina died. It really broke my heart when I read that part. It was painful. Every time I remembered that part I couldn’t keep myself from mumbling, Life was unfair.
Between Shades Of Gray is a must read for all book lovers.