Beginning- At the beginning of the book Between Shades of Gray, In June of 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas is arrested by the Soviet Secret Police, the NKVD from her home in Kaunas, Lithuania. She is arrested alongside her mother, Elena, and ten-year-old brother Jonas. Her father Kostas has been arrested earlier, and they don’t know where he is.
Middle- at the middle of the book Between Shades of Gray,The family is given very little time to pack before they are loaded onto a bus full of other arrested civilians. They are then placed onto trains, where they remain in squalor with very little food for six weeks. Among them are schoolteachers, librarians, stamp collectors, and even a young mother and her newborn child. Lina meets a boy her age on the train named Andrius, with whom she initially has a rocky relationship, though over time they develop feelings for each other.
End- at the end of the book Between Shades Of Gray, In the two months after she learns of her husband’s death, Elena’s health declines sharply until she finally dies of cold, starvation, and grief. After her death, Lina encounters a drunken Kretzsky, who tells her about his own dead mother and how much he hates himself, and Lina is finally able to feel compassion for him. This compassion leads to the novel’s resolution, as Kretzsky leaves the camp to follow his conscience and sends a doctor and inspection officer there to ensure that the prisoners’ conditions improve.