I’ve just finished reading True Colors by Kristin Hannah and all I can say is, I wish there were more… I’ve been a fan of Hannah’s since I read her book, Firefly Lane, a few years back because her books always leave me thinking and challenging myself to do more.
Set on a picturesque horse farm in Washington State, True Colors follows the lives of the Grey sisters who were devastated by their mother’s death while they were still young as they navigate through the haze of their father’s distant affections.
Winona, the oldest, is overweight and most starved for her father’s attention. She’s an over~achieving lawyer who has never really felt at home on her family’s horse ranch.
The middle sister, Aurora, is the peacekeeper in the family. While trying to keep everyone else happy, she neglects her own needs to the detriment of her marriage.
Vivi Ann, the youngest sister, is the star of the family. Everything comes easily to her but then she loses it all in a matter of moments.
This book is part love story, part crime novel and full on family drama. The sisters’ relationship is torn apart when Vivi Ann’s husband is accused of murder and Wynona refuses to help in his defense out of her own selfish reasons. For years, Wynona watches as her sister wastes away thinking of the man and the love that she has lost until one day she thinks she may be wrong about his guilt or innocence.
One of the things that appealed to me about this book was the relationship between the sisters. I have two sisters and we, like the Greys, have had our ups and downs, so I was able to identify with the characters and their need to support each other (and to also be right). Hannah did a wonderful job of showing how superficial forgiveness can leave gaping holes in relationships. While the women seem to be getting along on the surface, there’s so much tension flowing under the surface that it’s almost palpable.
The thing I liked least about the story was that Aurora’s story seemed to be neglected or, at the very least, an afterthought. Her story definitely could have been more fully developed. For example, her marriage falls apart but there really isn’t any discussion about how this affects her or her children or what becomes of her husband ~ do they share custody, did he leave town, what happened?
One of the biggest lessons I learned from reading this novel is how quickly an innocent person can be convicted based on eyewitness testimony, prejudice and faulty DNA testing. In fact, this novel directly relates to the Innocence Project, an organization that is dedicated to exonerating wrongully convicted people through the use of DNA testing. Although I’m aware of some of the injustices of the criminal courts, I never realized how easy it is for someone to get caught up in the system. This project has definitely made me rethink my views on capital punishment.
Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I simply happen to be a Kristin Hannah fan.