Source: Personal Copy
Category: Young Adult/Historical
Lina, a child artist knows that something is brewing in her world, she can feel her parents constant unease. Her father is quick to snap at her, her mother seems worried. However, nothing prepared her for the night the NKVD came knocking on their door, forcing Lina, her younger brother Jonas, and mother Elena out the door. Her father was no where to be seen, and no one would explain where he was. Lina and her family were quickly rushed out the door, loaded into a truck with other confused neighbours. These victims unknown to them were labeled political prisoners. A long, tortuous journey takes a turn for the worst when they are loaded into cattle cars with very little food or water traveling for weeks. Lina was terrified, perplexed and furious. Her mother was calm, collected and strategic. Her brother matured in the matter of days. Life as she knew it would never be the same.
If you’re looking for an amazing read, a book you put down but can’t stop thinking about...pick this one up. The book trailer alone will leave you desperate to get your hands on this one. This emotional page-turner uncovers a new Holocaust/World War II story, Ruta Sepetys introduces her readers to Stalin’s reign of terror. Hitlers horrors are widely told, but the atrocities of Stalin not so much. Ruta Sepetys gives these victims a voice. I love the variety of characters in this book, even in the worst of times personalities are distinct. I was constantly in awe of the perseverance of certain characters. The group of captives band together when given nothing to survive on. There are those who are resourceful, those who are desperate, and those who have given up. I really don’t want to give too much details about this one, I think it’s really important to read this book and be carried on the journey yourself. I would read the words, and not want to stop because I was afraid of how it would end. Long after I closed the book, I was left wondering and realizing how true some of these stories were. I know this book is categorized as Young Adult, but honestly don’t let that discourage you from reading it. This is a book for everyone. This book had the same impact on me as “Night” by Eli Weisel.
Please...do yourself a favor...read it!