Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Review: True Colors by Kristin Hannah (no spoilers)

Book: True Colors
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication: February 3rd, 2009
Source: College Library
Read: April 1st-April 6th, 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):
True Colors is New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s most provocative, compelling, and heart-wrenching story yet. With the luminous writing and unforgettable characters that are her trademarks, she tells the story of three sisters whose once-solid world is broken apart by jealousy, betrayal, and the kind of passion that rarely comes along.

 The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother’s death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community.

 Winona, the oldest, needs her father’s approval most of all. An overweight bookworm who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her family for three generations, she knows that she doesn’t have the qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she’s determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.

 Aurora, the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.

 Vivi Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a stranger comes to town. . . .

 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

My Thoughts:
I fell in love with every heart stopping page of True Colors. This book was fast paced, riveting, and shocking all at the same time. When I first started this book I thought it was mostly going to be about Winona. The oldest sister with the job as a lawyer who seeks her fathers approval. It ended up being more about Vivi Ann, the free spirited soul of the family.

The word that came to my mind as I finished this novel was Pride. Henry Grey is all about appearances and holding up the Grey family name. The three sisters throughout the novel would often say I'm a Grey. Their last name and their heritage on their ranch Water's Edge was something to be proud of, but as the ranch is going downhill financially the family will start to face many big decisions.

Winona Grey is indisputable the smartest of the three sisters and she has been like a mother to Aurora and Vivi Ann ever since her mother died when she was 15. Winona had her fair share of hardships. She always wanted her father's approval for him to be proud of her. It hurt Winona that Vivi Ann was always the star of the family because she had horse blood in her veins. Vivi Ann knew how to ride horses while Winona lacked in that department.

Then there is Aurora who didn't hold a very big part of the novel, but really was the peace keeper of the family while she suffered her own marital problems.

Then there is beautiful Vivi Ann. The girl who can get anything she wants with a snap of her fingers. She makes decisions first and things later. Vivi Ann loves the ranch. She will not see it go bankrupt. She comes up with a plan that makes her super busy and finally gives her father time to relax. Vivi Ann's relationship with Luke Connelly is what starts the turmoil out among the sisters. Winona has been in love with Luke since forever, but has never told him. Luke obviously has feelings for Vivi Ann. Luke felt like a pretty washed out character. He was too perfect to relate to. He was always doing the right thing for Vivi Ann while Vivi Ann just continued on with her life not really stopping to think about Luke or her relationship with him. Some people would call Vivi Ann a dumb and in a few ways she was, but I would call her headstrong. Vivi Ann knew what she wanted out of life, but she wasn't willing to slow down to think about. She ran her life full speed ahead which often led to actions that had consequences.

I think Vivi Ann and Winona were the characters that changed the most during the novel. I think in some respects they ended up trading places with their attitude on life.

Dallas Raintree is an important character to talk about in this novel, but hard to talk about without spoilers so I will be careful. The ranch is a big operation and Vivi Ann just can't seem to hire the right hand so her sister Winona hires native american, Dallas Raintree after she desperately tries to find somebody that will just stay for a year. Vivi Ann knows that she is with Luke that she should not interact with Dallas, but Vivi Ann would be lying if she said she didn't glance sideways at him every so often. That is where the scandal of Dallas Raintree begins. I didn't really like Dallas as a character at first. He seemed to always want to act tough and he always had something to hide, but as the book progressed you could see that he had a heart although his decisions were not always easily justified. He had the right motives in mind for making the decision he did.

The problem with the American Justice System is there is always so many doubts. In Dallas case I could never really tell if he was lying or really telling the truth. Even in the ending of the book I still question Dallas's verdict. That was hard. There were so many mixed emotions with this book that it was hard to tell what you were supposed to feel. At some point in the novel I disliked each of these characters, but I came out to like most of them.

The key theme Kristin Hannah was trying to get at with True Colors is the bond between sisters. True Colors described how jealously could break a family apart. It takes courage to forgive and bring the family back together. Ultimately as the summary says what it means to be a family. The main thing I took away from True Colors is that although families may fight if they want to stay together they will do whatever it takes to keep that family bond intact. I think that is a truly noble theme of this novel. The Grey sisters may have had their ups and downs, but Winona, Aurora, and Vivi Ann are at their heart sisters and they have to stick together no matter what. Another theme that I picked up on was finding who you are and where you belong. I think this mostly fits with Winona. She was constantly down on herself for never having a stable relationship, but as the novel concludes Winona discovers that she is strong women and she can be happy with her life no matter the outcome. I think it also fits to Vivi Ann and how her life changes at the end of the novel.

If you haven't got the idea already I really enjoyed True Colors. I probably didn't even scratch the surface of things I could say about this breathtakingly beautiful novel. This book kept me up late at night and I wanted to read it all day. I have not had a book that made me feel that way in a long time. I thank Kristin Hannah for writing amazing novels because I have not found one yet that hasn't made me want to keep reading. I highly recommend True Colors. I think it is a fantastic novel with many important life lessons.

True Colors was my February Random Read and this one was by far a winner. I couldn't put it down and didn't want to stop reading it. I loved every moment. 


  1. Wow, this book sounds amazing-adding it to my TBR list right now. Great review!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you think you will enjoy. Come back and tell me what you think after you read it.

  2. I just finished reading True Colors. I couldn't put it down!
    The ending, I thought, was a bit short and way too simple;the way Dallas immediately seemed to be his old self right away. After being in prison for so many years, I'd think there would be an adjustment period. Other than that, the book was awesome.


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