Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book T: LibraryLove February 1, 2011

True Colors by Kristin Hannah

Book description~ Sisterhood triumphs over sibling rivalries in this artfully turned Kristin Hannah novel. Winona, Aurora, and Vivi Ann grew up together in a small Washington State suburban town. Bonding together closer after their mother’s early death, they develop differently. In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town. With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption—and ultimately, what it means to be a family.

Hi again! I’ve taken a much needed mental break from blogging after the recent completion of our 52 book plunge and I’m back for another reading challenge! As you may know, us bookworms are scaling the alphabet and tackling 26 books this year, a nice departure from the pressure of last year’s challenge. In my first book review of the new year, I was so glad to finally take the time and read this chunkster of about 500 pages. One of our newest book club babes selected this for February discussion, and I cannot wait to discuss this with the ladies in a few weeks. Wrongful imprisonment, and the subject of this novel, will surely be a conversation piece!

Not only was Hannah such an artist in the way she gradually built the rising action, she did so with nicely developed characters and many surprises along this emotional journey for the Grey family. This was a story of The Grey sisters,  their family, their fight for what they believed in, and not giving up when others told them to. Can you imagine what life would be like if you grew up never having known your father because he was wrongfully accused and imprisoned for over a decade for a crime he didn’t commit? Unfortunately, Noah, one of this books’ main characters had to do just that. The older he gets, the more he questions his reality and searches for answers right under his nose. Noah doesn’t know who he is, or who is father is. But one thing is true…his mission is to figure both out. We’re taken along the ride with mainly Noah, his mother, Vivi Ann, and Vivi Ann’s sisters, although Winona is really the only other ‘main character’.  I definitely would have enjoyed more dialogue from Aurora, another of the sisters. I felt she was just lost in the shuffle in the background. But, the turning point of the novel came and I couldn’t read fast enough.

“Beside an ad for one of the city’s newest high-rises, she saw a gloomy photograph of a man standing in front of a prison guard tower. The headline read:  ‘Innocence Project Northwest Works to Exonerate the Wrongly Accused’. There might be an animal called absolute truth, but it couldn’t be caged and certainly didn’t roam the halls of justice. In her research for Dallas’ case, she’d read about more than one hundred men who’d been freed from prison in the past five years based on DNA testimony… and even more who hadn’t. Those unfortunate souls were all too often in Dallas’ position: DNA evidence neither tied them irrefutably to the crime nor will exonerate them. It amazed and shamed Winona how inflexible district attorneys and police could be once they decided on a defendant’s guilt. Often no amount of evidence could dissuade them, and so they kept fighting, making specious, ridiculous arguments that kept innocent people in prison for decades. “

Although I think Hannah could have shaved off 100 pages from  “the middle”,  I was along for the ride the whole way through. And if you’re expecting a book to grab you right from the very first page, I don’t think this is the book for you. However, patience prevails because this book is slow and steady; more of a trot and less of a gallop. Either way, it was well worth the wait to make it to the sweet ending. This was my first Kristin Hannah novel and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

4/5 stars

1 down, 25 to go!

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