My 13 year old daughter found this book while browsing the young adult book section at the library, and brought it home to read. She hadn't read too far into the story before she commented several times that I should read it, and that she was sure I would really like it. We've shared enough recommendations that I knew I would hang on to it after she finished. It took me a few weeks (and a renewal) before I got to it, but boy am I glad I did. I stayed up much too late last night, finishing the last few chapters in bed.
I've read plenty of WWII coming of age stories, but never one that dealt with the Josef Stalin/Soviet side of this war, and was intrigued to learn more. This story starts in Soviet occupied Lithuania, and captures the struggle of the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia beginning in the early 1940s. In June of 1941 15 year old Lina is taken from her home at night by the Soviet Secret Police with her mother and younger brother. They are forced on an unthinkable journey to Siberia, enduring extreme hardships, torture, starvation and servitude. Lina, her little family and the people they traveled with captured my heart. A good book leaves you thinking, and I will be thinking about this one for a long time.