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Graciem

Graciem

""Mother pulled a bundle of rubles from her pocket and exposed it slightly to the officer. He reached for it and then said something to Mother, motioning with his head. Her hand flew up and ripped the amber pendant right from her neck and pressed it into the NKVD's hand. He didn't seem to be satisfied. Mother continued to speak in Russian and pulled a pocket watch from her coat. I knew that watch. It was her father's and had his name engraved in the soft gold on the back. The officer snatched the watch, let go of Jonas, and started yelling at the people next to us.
Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch" (Sepetys 26-27)."
Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys

I think this quote is really significant because it emphasizes how the NKVD do not see any value in the lives of their victims.  They do not stop to consider that these people are mothers and fathers and children.  They only are concerned with their own comfort.  

As a fan of historical fiction, I knew that after reading Salt to the Sea, I had to read Between Shades of Gray.  Ruta Sepetys perfectly captures the brutality of the times of World War II.  So far, the novel is intensely depressing which I feel is an accurate representation of the circumstances.  Lina and her mother and brother have just arrived at a labor camp and are being pushed to sign a document deeming them criminals and stating that they must remain on the camp, performing hard labor for 25 years.  I really like how the author uses a lot of foreshadowing.  For instance, one of the main characters, Andrius, says and does things that hint at what is to be found out later.  He brings Lina food and does not have to work. Readers are not surprised to find out that he gets preferable treatment because his mother is sleeping with one of the Soviet officers.  Although the book is already quite sad, i predict that it will become even sadder.  I am wondering if Lina and her family will sign the document, and if not, what will become of them.