Book Review: The Sun Does Shine

Book Review: The Sun Does ShineThe Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
by Anthony Ray Hinton, Bryan Stevenson, Lara Love Hardin
on March 27, 2018
Pages: 272
Published by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Non-Fiction
Goodreads

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB SUMMER 2018 SELECTION

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

My Takeaway

“I was born with the same gift from God we are all born with – the impulse to reach out and lessen the suffering of another human being. It was a gift, and we each had a choice whether to use this gift or not.”
Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine

Wow. The Sun Does Shine generated so many emotions for me and here I am a week later, still thinking about it. To be honest, I don’t think my review will do it justice, but it’s definitely worth a try. The compelling and extraordinary memoir made me sad, enraged, weep and smile. The beyond infernal ordeal Ray Hinton went through for thirty years was quite unimaginable. Personally, I do not think I could have endured any amount of time in Holman State Prison. Hinton’s pain and suffering are well depicted – I felt his desperation, sorrow, and pain, but I also felt his moments of hope, faith, and incessant optimism. The Sun Does Shine is a book everyone should read to have a better understanding of how unjust our judicial system can be. There’s a reason why Oprah has made it her Book Club Summer 2018 selection! Get reading and keep the tissues nearby. I would like to thank Ray Hinton for having the courage to share his remarkable story with the world. I hope to be able to meet him someday.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion (however, I also purchased a copy for my personal library).

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