In June 1941, Lina is a 15 year old Lithuanian girl living with her mother, her younger brother and her father, who is a professor at a local university. Her world is completely shattered when Soviet soldiers come and arrest her whole family for reasons unknown to Lina. Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union not too long before their arrest and is under the rule of Joseph Stalin.
Lina and her mother and brother are taken and forced on to train cars that take them deep into Siberia. Their father is separated with the men and they hear little word of him for the next few years. Lina tries to communicate her to her father through drawings she sends through backdoor channels. Lina, her family, and many others arrested that night are forced to survive in the harsh climate of Siberia with little food, meanwhile being abused by the Soviets.
I won't tell you what happens beyond that. It's an amazing story. The author's own grandfather was a Lithuanian soldier, who most likely would have been arrested if he had not escaped in the early 1940's. She did research throughout the country, looking at records and talking with survivors and witnesses to these horrifying events. Sepetys provides an incredibly brave and empathetic character in Lina and in many of her fellow camp survivors. A great book.
You can find this book in the YA section of our library. For more information check out: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7824322-between-shades-of-gray