Ruta Sepetys, author of New York Times best seller Between Shades of Gray and Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business Advisory board member was invited on May 25 to Washington, D.C. for a reception at the Lithuanian Embassy. The reception served as a presentation, discussion and signing of her work and the associated history to the U.S. Administration, Congress, Washington think-tank members and the local Lithuanian community.
Sepetys novel, the first she has written, describes a terrifyingly honest account of the mandated Lithuanian relocation in the aftermath of the 1939 Soviet invasion. Sepetys’s heroine Lina is forced from her home at age 15 and travels north with her family to a work camp in the northernmost part of Siberia. There they are required to dig for beets and endure the cruelest conditions to live.
Lina’s only escape is her art, dangerously documenting what she sees through drawing, with the hope that her pieces will make it to her father’s prison camp to tell of her survival. The journey covers 6,500 miles but through her continued determination and passion, Lina survives.
The Lithuanian Embassy said about Sepetys novel, “Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.”