Read this book.
I love Ruta Sepetys’ writing and this book didn’t disappoint. I was hit really hard by it. She knows how to write really horrible thing that actually happened in real life from a teenagers perspective without making them seem like an oblivious idiot.
Similar to Salt to the Sea this focuses on a little talked about part of the second world war: eastern europeans being deported from their homes to work in labour camps in Russia. Lina and her family are taken from Lithuania and placed in a camp in Siberia after a horrible long journey in a train car.
You could really feel the horrors of everything happening when reading this book, feel for the characters whose lives were completely unraveled. I just felt so sad reading this, knowing that this happened to real life people.
I connected to the characters far better than Salt to the Sea. Maybe because it was in one perspective I don’t know. Everyone felt so human, it didn’t feel like I was reading a novel it felt real, the characters spoke how I imagined they would, they reacted in both bad and good ways, there was nothing fake.
Sepetys’ research ethic is unparalleled, I love how much work she puts into it and making sure she thanks everyone who spoke to her.
My one gripe with this book was that I wish there was more about their lives after everything had happened. I wanted to see what their lives were like continuing after going through everything.