Sunday, 11 December 2011
Between Shades of Gray , by Ruta Sepetys
What would you do if one day, some people knocked on your door to take you away, telling you that you could only pack one suitcase of things, and constantly telling you to hurry up otherwise you might not make it the next few hours. One thing this book does for sure is make you appreciate what you have, because in this book the author represents how quickly it can all be taken away from us, and how one minute our lives could be the most precious thing in the world, but is quickly turned upside down to become the image of hell. I think many of us forget about the year 1941, the war which happened and the people that were hurt. We forgot what occured in their lives, or really, how their lives were stripped bare from them. Yet when we think of this year, we often turn our thoughts to the Jews who were killed in the concentration camps. But what about those from other countries who were just as innocent and yet just as harshly punished.
The book is vivid and alive in the readers mind, taking them on a journey into the past, where everything you owned became a priviledge, and the people you knew were soon your friends and yet your enemies at the same time. The writer writes with such depth and detail that it is clear that this is based on something that did actually occur, and in this sense it opens the readers eyes more, to see just how horrible of a time it was. Children were hurt, women were made to sleep with soilders in order to protect the ones they loved, and food was a rareity, something that had to be earnt and even when it was it was the smallest of portions. The soilders are painted to look like and seem like monsters, but there was one in the book which made you wonder how many of the soilders were forced into the work they had to do, and how many of them actually wanted to be there?
The book was just very well written in a huge engaging sense because it made me think but also feel. The whole novel just seemed to flow in a terrifying way that made you feel the time pass, that made you feel the pain and suffering they all went through. The dictations of each and every character seemed to be correct and precise, right down to how at the very last moments many of the victims became lost in a world of mental illness where they talked only to themselves, and was far of from those around us. It made me look at how precious a childhood I had because I was protected from things like this. There was just nothing about this book that I feel I could actually write negatively about because it talks with truth.
I just feel that the author really connected with her characters and stories here in that she did not spare the truth but instead shared it with us so that we could see the dark times and cruelties that lay in the past, but could happen all over again. It was emotional and well expressed. The detail was vivid and pulled me, as the reader, right into the lines. I would suggest this book to everyone who wants to learn a few lessons.