Between Shades of Gray Part Three: Chapters 81-Epilogue Summary & Analysis

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Between Shades of Gray

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Between Shades of Gray Part Three: Chapters 81-Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Chapter 81 Summary

Lina sleeps next to her mother’s body, trying to muffle her sobs.  She feels hollow with grief, but realizes how much she wants to live; then feels guilty for wanting to live even though her parents are dead.  The next day after work, Jonas and the man who winds his watch make a coffin, while Lina and Mrs. Rimas prepare Elena’s body.  Lina finds fresh clothes in her mother’s suitcase for herself and Kostas—packed in preparation for their return to Lithuania—and Lina begins to cry again, realizing that her mother never stopped believing she would be able to go home.  They dress Elena in the silk dress she meant for her return, and Lina finds the deed to their house and Joana’s address in Germany in the lining of Elena’s coat.  That night Lina steals ice picks and shovels from the NKVD, and she and Jonas begin digging a grave on a little hill overlooking the sea.  In the early morning, Mrs. Rimas and the man who winds his watch come to help them, along with the bald man and Janina.  When they have dug a shallow grave, they carry Elena’s coffin up the hill, and people Lina doesn’t know join the procession.  They walk past the NKVD barracks and Lina sees Kretzsky watching them.

Chapter 82 Summary

Lina paints a map to her mother’s gravesite using her ash paint and a feather from the snowy owl.  The bald man talks about drowning themselves, and even though Lina feels the horrible absence of her mother, she tells him she has no interest in dying; perhaps he doesn’t either—he just thinks he deserves it.  She asks him what keeps him from killing himself, and he tells her that it’s fear.  Two days later, as a storm approaches, Lina goes to steal wood from the NKVD.  Instead, she finds a drunken Kretzsky, who talks to her about her drawing and her mother.  He tells her that her mother clearly used to be pretty—“krasivaya,” which means “beautiful, but with strength Unique” (320).  Lina is angry that she has to learn Andrius’s…

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