Book Review: True Colors

I haven’t yet read a book by Kristin Hannah that I didn’t love.

True Colors by Kristin Hannah

I have yet to read a book by Kristin Hannah that I didn’t love. My favorites remain The Great Alone and The Nightingale, but this was a worthwhile read.

Back Cover Description

The Grey sisters had only each other when their mother died years ago. Their stern, unyielding father gave them almost no attention. Winona, the oldest, needs her father’s approval most of all. An overweight dreamer, she never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that had been in her family for three generations. Aurora, the middle, is the peacemaker. Vivi Ann, the youngest, is the undisputed star of the family. Everything comes easily to Vivi Ann, love most of all.

A terrible crime will shatter their family and tear their beloved town apart. Accused is Vivi Ann’s new husband, an outsider. For the first time, the sisters will be pitted against each other.

Characters

Each of the Grey sisters embodies common family roles—the misfit, the peacemaker, the little princess—but the struggles in their personal lives prevents the books from falling into clichés. A former lawyer herself, Hannah often includes lawyer characters. I liked Winona, especially since so many books are filled with skinny beauties. Winona’s bull-like personality gives her the strength through the entire book, but her sisters balance her out, and her admission of her own mistakes at the end is authentic. Once again, Hannah has done an incredible job creating relatable characters with depth and personality.

Plot

The plot begins with a bit of a love triangle, then switches to the crime, then takes a decade-long break and returns to the crime. A lot of set-up, but it comes together in the end. The author leads the reader through one link in the chain at a time. While exploring the darker side of the criminal justice system, the story centers around themes of family, prejudice and reconciliation.

Writing Style

Hannah has a gift for describing the passage of time without boring the reader. She can span months in a single paragraph. Instead of saying “and then summer came,” she describes which flowers come into bloom, what chores the townsfolk do, and what weather plagues the city. This maintains the magic of the story while still allowing us to fast-forward through time.

Other

The cover image is similar Between Sisters, though I like the sharp contrast between the horse silhouette and the background. The horse relates to the plot and symbolizes one character, so works well for the cover.

You can tell the author is writing what she knows when she describes the setting, and that she has a great deal of affection for the Pacific Northwest. Much like her depiction of Alaska in The Great Alone, her descriptions of the ranch made me want to pack my bags and hop on the next flight there. That’s the highest compliment I can give a book’s setting.

Conclusion

Another excellent book by Kristin Hannah, well worth the price to buy and the time to read. If you are deciding between True Colors and Between Sisters, I’ll say that I liked Between Sisters, but they are similar. The Great Alone and The Nightingale are still my favorites by Kristina Hannah, but True Colors earns its place on the shelf.  



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True Colors

Other books by Kristin Hannah I enjoyed

(still working on writing the reviews)

Winter Garden


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Book Review: Between Sisters

I have yet to read a book by Kristin Hannah that I didn’t love. This one is no exception.

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Back Cover Description

“Meghann Dontess is a woman haunted by heartbreak. Twenty-five years ago she was forced to make a terrible choice, one that cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Now, Meghann is a hotshot divorce attorney who doesn’t believe in intimacy–until she meets the one man who can change her mind.

Claire Cavenaugh has fallen in love for the first time in her life. As her wedding day approaches, she prepares to face her harsh, judgmental older sister and their self-absorbed mother. It is the first time they have been together in more than two decades. Over the course of a hot Pacific Northwest summer, these three women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.”

Characters

A former lawyer herself, Kristin Hannah includes lawyer characters in many of her books. Meghann is a believable character who uses the sword of her own bitterness to slice through other people’s marriages. Claire, a single mom, is more practical, until she falls in love at first sight. Her practical nature sides with her sister, but the little princess in her can’t help leaping at her chance for true love.

Kristin Hannah has a gift for creating nuanced characters with thorough backstories. Though the backstories impact they way each character behaves, she doesn’t waste time with endless explanations and flashbacks. The backstories emerge naturally, when relevant.

Plot

The overarching plot is the sisters’ reconciliation, riding on the themes of love and second chances. A disaster in Meghann’s work and Claire’s wedding bring the siblings together, but the forge that fuses them solid is an unrelated medical even that occurs in the latter half of the book. I wish the author had included more foreshadowing for this, but I will admit that it raised the stakes and made the story more interesting.

Writing Style

As I mentioned earlier, Hannah doesn’t waste time on endless explanations of why the characters act the way they do, she drops natural hints along the way that make her characters feel like real people. Her prose is as polished and pressed as a lawyer’s suit, beautiful in its precision.

Other

The cover is nearly identical to True Colors, and I don’t like the beach. A more appropriate setting would be the woods, as Claire runs a resort near the mountains. The colors are vibrant, but a bit too intense, as if screaming “this book’s for women.”

Conclusion

I have yet to read a book by Kristin Hannah that I didn’t love. This one is no exception. My favorites remain The Great Alone and The Nightingale, but Between Sisters is perfect for a book club, well worth the money to buy and the time to read.


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Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Other books by Kristin Hannah I have read and enjoyed

(still working on writing the reviews)

The Nightingale


*These links are Amazon Associate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase through them.