Book Recommendation: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

7 Oct, 2021 17:23 IST|Sakshi Post

By Bhavana Gundeti

Over the past hectic year—some could say years—we have been constantly deprived of our enthusiasm by reading news and what not! Everyone seems to be pretending to know what they’re doing even though truly, we all have become so much more clueless. The pandemic has made our lives unstable, messed with our mental stability, and honestly is affecting our future which we should be in charge of! It’s time to take back control.

 During the surge of internet usage last year during our national quarantine, I’ve come across articles and videos talking about how to be productive, how to focus, how to get back in shape, etc. Well instead of all that repetitiveness which doesn’t necessarily always work, I’m here to tell you a great way to take a moment and relax—reading. I know most people will say that they don’t have the energy or time or interest, mostly because they’ve been forced to read textbooks for a good part of their lives. But think of it as a movie - but you get to imagine the scenes.

Even a chapter a day could help your mind get that daily dose of peace.

 One of my all-time favorite books is “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys. Being a historical fiction novel, it takes you through the racial discrimination and mistreatment of these Lithuanian characters. Lina Vilkas, the main character, is a sketcher and lives in Lithuania with her mother, father and brother. One night, the NKVD (Soviet officers, now-ended group) barge into their home and there begins the story of how Lina, her mother, and her brother are taken to a prison camp in Siberia, separated from their father, who is taken elsewhere. What the young adult goes through and how she has impacted forms the plot of the story. The book is written from a first person’s point of view. The aspect of this book that really captured me was its depth and understanding of reality. Age, once again, is proven to not be a measurement of maturity. And people might say—why would anyone want to read such books? The reason to read such stories is to be able to apply this to situations currently happening around us.

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 History is studied so we don’t repeat them. The experiences this character goes through are different from those of this century’s and it shows us that you can never exactly predict what can happen where and when and how despite all of it, you can still continue your path. Moreover, it reminds us of exactly how far humanity—including you—has come, which is indirectly making your mind believe that tasks are achievable, even if you do one a day. The past two years have set us back in productivity and self-esteem. This is true for a majority of the population; we need a boost to revamp this lifestyle. Reading is definitely one of the ways for escapism and re-evaluating the current world in new eyes.

 The author, a student of Suchitra Academy, is an intern at Sakshi Post.

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