March 2012 Book Club

This month we met at Adrienne’s house for Book Club. While I look back at the evening what I recall most was how many conversations I had with each member about the recent books we have been reading and how much they have enjoyed the titles.  Kari was particularly vocal about how much she has enjoyed learning about different periods of history from books she would never have thought to read if not for book club.  Being a champion for reading this warms my heart.  This is why we created our book club and it makes me happy that everyone has risen to the challenge to pick titles that are out of our comfort zone!

For March we read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It was unanimous, we all loved the book.  Learning about another bit of history and the atrocities the Lithuanian people were subjected to lingered in our minds well after we had finished the book.  The book did not delve too much into the politics of the time, but we as a group discussed the Soviet occupation in Lithuania and tried to have a mini history class at the table.  I know I need to get on Wikipedia for a refresher course!

It is the story, as told by, a fifteen year old Lithuanian girl named Lina Vilkas.  The book opens in June of 1941 when Lina, her mother and brother are torn from their home by Soviet Officers, told to pack what they can and herded with hundreds of others on a journey in over packed, dirty, trains to work in labor camps in Northern Russia.  Meanwhile, Lina’s father was arrested and transported to a prison separately from his family.  While Lina and her family dream of being reconnected with her father, they endure the most horrible conditions of dirt, hunger, freezing temperatures, barely any shelter or necessities of life all while laboring for little or no food. As the family is moved from one labor camp to the next and finally landing near the Arctic Circle in the most inhumane conditions we see these people doing anything they can to survive and how dreaming of their freedom and returning to their previous lives keeps them alive.  It is a story of hardship, pain, loss and true survival.
Click below for a Preview and to purchase Between Shades of Gray

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  1. Both my grandmothers were from Latvia which suffered similar atrocities and my mother’s mother was named Lina!! Guess this should go on my list!


  1. […] is Ruta Sepetys’ new novel Salt to the Sea. My book club will remember reading her book Between Shades of Gray a few years ago and then going to hear her speak at our local bookstore.  She was so personable […]

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