Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Ruta Sepetys's Between Shades of Gray. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Between Shades of Gray: Context
Between Shades of Gray: Plot Summary
Between Shades of Gray: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Between Shades of Gray: Themes
Between Shades of Gray: Quotes
Between Shades of Gray: Characters
Between Shades of Gray: Symbols
Between Shades of Gray: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Ruta Sepetys
Historical Context of Between Shades of Gray
Other Books Related to Between Shades of Gray
- Full Title: Between Shades of Gray
- When Written: Mid-late 2000s
- Where Written: United States
- When Published: 2011
- Literary Period: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
- Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult Novel
- Setting: Lithuania and Siberia
- Climax: Towards the very end of the novel, Lina, Jonas, and the rest of the surviving deportees are facing a winter without adequate food or shelter. Nikolai Kretszky, an NKVD soldier who has spent much of the last year torturing Lina and the deportees, has a change of heart and defects from the camp to notify those who can help of the horrors happening to the Baltic people. A rescue team arrives, including a Dr. Samodurov, who nurses those on the brink of death back to health.
- Antagonist: The NKVD, Josef Stalin’s Communist Regime
- Point of View: First person, from Lina’s perspective
Extra Credit for Between Shades of Gray
Literary score. The musician Galvin Mikhail has composed a piano soundtrack to accompany the novel.
From YA to politics. In March 2013, Sepetys became the first American author of young adult novels to present at the European Parliament, where she spoke of the relationship between totalitarianism in the Baltic region and the importance of historical fiction.