Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

True Colors (Kristin Hannah)

I continue returning to Kristin Hannah’s novels and I continue to be impressed. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary novelists and her book True Colors is probably the best book I have read this year. It is packed with unexpected plot twists, wonderfully developed characters, and themes that are extremely relevant to our society today.

True Colors follows the lives of three adult sisters who continue to struggle with their identity after their Mother’s untimely death in their childhood. Trying to balance their personal lives with the issues related to being a family while caring for their father and the family ranch proves to be too much at times. After a string of undependable ranch hands, the girls hire a stranger passing through town who appears to be capable, but there is also an air of mystery, intrigue, and danger surrounding him.

The new cowboy is Dallas Raintree, a Native American. The girls’ father immediately demands that the no-good man be fired before he brings trouble to the family ranch. Dallas begins to flirt with one of the sisters; they fall madly in love and marry. Dallas’ reputation in the close-knit community, however, does not improve with his marriage.

When a local woman is murdered, Dallas is the obvious suspect. He is arrested, tried and convicted despite his assertions of his innocence. His young wife uses her limited resources to have the sentence overturned with no success. As she struggles to come to terms with her situation, she also struggles to raise the couple’s young son who acts out with violence and rebellion.

Is Dallas guilty of murder? Can a tattered family be reunited despite opposing views? Does anyone care to look beyond their preconceived ideas about an individual based solely on their appearance and actually search for truth? All of these questions are raised and answered beautifully in True Colors. The reader will laugh, cry, and gasp while experiencing the highs and lows of life in this quiet northwestern town where animals are cared for, people live at a slower pace, and everyone is given the chance to let their True Colors shine through.

A must read for everyone! You will not be disappointed.

Leave a comment »

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Trevor Noah)

The book’s title sat on my TBR list for several years after a colleague’s recommendation. With a long drive back to west Texas in front of me and a free subscription to Audible, I decided it was time to download Trevor Noah’s memoir and see what all the fuss was about. I am certainly glad I did.

Born a Crime brilliantly shares heart-wrenching stories from Noah’s childhood during the final days of apartheid. But the book is about so much more than racial prejudice. It’s about the challenges and laughter that result from growing up in a deeply religious home. It’s about the bond between a mother and son. It’s a tale of the horrors of domestic abuse and the struggle to come to freedom. It’s about life in the face of opposition and seemingly insurmountable challenges.

From his early revelation that his mother was shot in the head by his step-father, Noah pulls us into his childhood and begins to unravel his story with an obvious gift for storytelling. We are brought into a world where a child’s only crime is that he was born to a black woman and a white man. Not finding a welcome place in either racial community, Trevor struggles to be included and is the victim of bullying. He watches as his mother begins to innocently flirt with the handsome mechanic who will ultimately become his stepfather. Trevor explains why everything changes when a son is born to his mother and her new husband….and how the abuse quickly escalates.

Born a Crime is an excellent read filled with moments of thought-provoking asides about life as we know it. Noah explores the power of language as a unifying force and challenges our thoughts about race, freedom, and power. I enjoyed listening to the book, but I fully intend to pick up a copy of the written work as well so I can continue to digest the beautiful language and the insightful commentary. This is one book that you don’t want to miss!

Leave a comment »