My Russian readers know what I'm talking about, don't you?
And come March 2011, all the rest of my readers will know as well... because that's when Ruta Sepetys' debut historical novel BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY will be released by Penguin/Philomel.
The book is based on the author's family and the real-life WWII events you may not have heard of: 15 year old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her familiy and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. (taken from inside jacket of ARC)
The facts are just as horrific as you can possibly imagine. But the story is written so beautifully, and with such love, that you come away from the experience partly slaughtered by man's inhumanity to man. More than that, though, you will leave this book inspired, humbled and in awe of the courage and tenacity of the human spirit.
So don't let the tough subject matter scare you away. This book will change you. And having just met Ruta at SCBWI Midsouth conference, I can tell you that her own indomitable spirit is every bit as powerful as what exists on these pages.
Congratulations, Ruta!! Thank you SO MUCH for writing this story. I look forward to watching its journey in the world! And for those of you who want to know more before March... there is a wonderful video found here.