Ruta Sepetys is the author of the astonishing book 'Between Shades of Gray' and was visiting Suffolk as part of an extensive international tour, which included only one other UK location.
'Between Shades of Gray' is the story of a teenage girl who is taken with her family, from her home in Lithuania, by the Soviets at the beginning of the Second World War. The father is separated from them and the girl, her brother and mother are put first in a cattle car on a train, then to a hard labour camp, and then to the Arctic. They endure terrible suffering, but the writing is beautiful, the story compelling and ultimately the book is life affirming.
It is a little known story of the second world war and Ruta's book has made it shockingly vivid.
An American of Lithuanian descent, Ruta has written this novel inspired by her family's experiences. She has put together a video explaining how she came to write the book, on her website www.betweenshadesofgray.com. She interviewed survivors and her novel captures the experiences they shared with her.
Ruta gave the most fascinating, moving and engaging presentation, and is a very warm and generous individual. Everyone who attended was completely entralled and inspired by all she had to say. We hope to read more by her very soon!
Read or listen to my book review here.