Saturday, April 9, 2016

Can't Get This One Out of My Head

Ever read a book that really grips you and makes you think?  I just finished a historical fiction book, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys that did that for me.  It takes place in the 1940s during Stalin's reign in Russia.  I knew about the atrocities done against the Jews in Germany with Hitler, but didn't realize how cruel Stalin was until I read this book and Ruta Sepetys' other book, Salt to the Sea

When it is cold outside, I always bundle up because I'm a freeze baby, but imagine what it would be like to have to camp outside in below zero weather without boots, without gloves, without a warm blanket or comfortable mattress, and with just a light spring coat!  That is what the poor people in this book did.  Not only that, but they were so hungry that they would eat from the garbage the soldiers threw away and only got water when the soldiers brought it to them in a bucket that they had to drink from like a dog.  They were crowded into cattle train cars that were filthy and expected to relieve themselves through a hole in the floor with no privacy. 

I loved how the mother, daughter and son kept their spirits up in such horrible conditions.  The mothers were willing to do just about anything to protect their children, but Lena's mom refused to be a spy when the Russians wanted her to.  She had a way of showing kindness to others in the midst of terrible circumstances. 

Here is my video review of it:

I hope you will check out my written review of it along with a video of the author talking about the background of the book on my Grab a Book From Our Stack blog.  The author's video is very interesting, showing snippets of interviews with actual survivors!

Reading this and Salt to the Sea just makes me feel all the more sympathy for the refugees today who are fleeing from their homelands which are at war.  We have so much to be thankful for here that we take for granted:  freedom, shelter, food, clean water, indoor plumbing, family and friends that we can visit whenever we want.  If you are going through a hard time, I recommend reading either of these books and you will find that you have much to be thankful for!

Have you read either of these books?  What did you think of them?

Share this:


Lin said...

When I see movies or read books about atrocities in history, it really sticks with me. I cannot believe how strong the human will can be to survive. I doubt I have that in me like these people did. Amazing people, aren't they?

Karen said...

I totally agree with you! I've read several others as well that amazed me how strong the human spirit can be.

Post a Comment