YA author Ruta Sepetys takes us behind the scenes of her new novel, Shades of Gray, which is based on the true story of the Baltic refugees that survived the ethnic cleansing that was carried out on Stalin’s orders. Learn about the genocide that inspired this story, discover why this atrocity is rarely spoken of in the US and find out about the moments that came together for this tale both heartbreaking and hopeful.
“I will tell you what happened to me, but only if you promise not to use my name.”
That is what I heard while conducting research for my novel, Between Shades of Gray.
Fifty years had passed, yet their hands still shook when they spoke of their experience. Fifty years had passed, but the tears and grief were still raw. Secrets are painful and through my research I learned that secrecy can swallow the voice of an entire generation.