Having written my own book about World War II, I was intrigued by Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys. The story was intense and did not disappoint. Similarly to my account of my father's childhood in Sudetenland, this book touched on an aspect of the war that is often neglected: the brutality inflicted upon people (in this case Lithuanians) by the Soviets.
The story follows the life of a young Lithuanian girl who, along with her family, is sent deep into Siberia to work as a forced laborer. The girl, Lina, is an artist, and she draws the world around her, the better to cope with the terrible situation. Death is everywhere, but so is love and tenderness, all the more precious in the stark winter landscape.
The characters are well-defined and they evoke an intense emotional response. War is hell; WWII being the lowest level of the scorching fires.
Between Shades of Gray is at the top of my list of recommendations.