2. Lina unflinchingly shares the nature of the condition in which she and the other prisoners are forced to live. What feelings does this candor evoke in you?
3. Upon arriving at the country train depot, the NKVD officers begin sorting the prisoners, and Lina asks, “Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch” (p. 35). How does this realization change Lina? In what ways does Lina better understand her mother’s actions and motivations?
4. Discuss the character traits that allow Lina, Jonas, and Andrius to ultimately persevere. How are these characters similar to each other? In what ways are they different? Which character are you most like?
5. Consider the consequences of not signing the documents which charge the prisoners counterrevolutionary activities against the Soviet Union. Does Lina’s family make the right decision by refusing to “confess” to these transgressions? Why or why not?