Genre: Memoir, Non fiction
Setting: Alabama, from approx 1974 to 2015
***I received an eARC copy of The Sun Does Shine from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, via NetGalley***
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Review: What a read! The Sun Does Shine is a book that everyone should read. It will fill you with anger, sadness, hope, and gratitude. Telling the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, who was wrongly imprisoned on Death Row for thirty years (!!!), The Sun Does Shine does not shy away from making you think about prison reform and the death penalty. I got interested in reading books like this after I read Just Mercy last year, and when I saw a NetGalley email that this book was available to read, I jumped at the chance to read Hinton’s story. And what a tale it is! I knew from the synopsis that he was eventually released, but my word, I was filled with sadness and despair for Hinton (and his friends and family), and was on the edge of my seat the entire read. Once I started this, I could not put it down, and Hinton does an excellent job of telling his story and making you feel not only his pain, but also his hopefulness.
The inadequacy of the legal system will shock and anger you. No, not just anger you, but outrage you. And it should! Hinton strives and succeeds here in bringing forth the humanity of the inmates, and even though many of them here are guilty of their terrible crimes, Hinton really makes the reader think about a lot of issues.
I loved the scenes between Hinton and his mother, and also Hinton and his best friend Lester. I enjoyed the scenes where Hinton decides to create a book club for a few inmates on Death Row, and hearing them all discuss various reads was enlightening. There are also a lot of very intense and emotional scenes, as many are executed throughout the years.
When I read, I write notes on my phone, and when I started this book my phone typed out The Sun DOES Shine as the title, and I think that is such a fitting statement here. This book will break your heart, heal it again, and make you think. It’s a must read, and so far it’s my favorite read of the year.
Bottom Line: Stunning. Such a powerful read! A must read for everyone!