As an O Mag Insider, I received the novel, The Sun Does Shine as a gift from O, The Oprah Magazine. However, the opinions below are strictly my own.
The Sun Does Shine is a testament to human courage and forgiveness.
Oprah Winfrey sure knows how to select books that reach into your soul and linger long after you’ve read the last page.
It’s been more than a week since I finished The Sun Does Shine, and I’m still thinking about Anthony Ray Hinton. About the injustice he endured. About the 30 years of his life he will never get back. And about a judicial system that reeked of prejudice.
Think about that for a minute. Imagine 30 YEARS of your life taken away. Knowing every single day that you sat in a 5×7 jail cell, you were completely innocent.
Watching prisoner after prisoner electrocuted down the hall with the smell of death seeping through the air vents. Aware that it would only be a matter of time before you were next. That you would be killed for a crime you didn’t commit.
The Sun Does Shine is a detailed account of Anthony’s arrest, conviction, and incarceration in 1985 Alabama.
When arrested for a murder he did not commit, Anthony told the arresting officer that he got the wrong guy. The officer responded that he could give him five reasons why he would be convicted.
He said, “Number one, you’re black. Number two, a white man gonna say you shot him. Number three, you’re gonna have a white district attorney. Number four, you’re gonna have a white judge. And number five, you’re gonna have an all-white jury.”
The officer didn’t care whether he was guilty or not. And neither did the jury, prosecutor, nor judge.
Only a few people believed in Anthony’s absolute innocence. His mother, who played a big part in shaping his personality. His best friend, Lester, who NEVER missed visiting him in the entire 30 years Anthony was on Death Row. And finally, Bryan Stevenson, the attorney who was relentless in the pursuit of Hinton’s freedom.
Anthony’s story is one of courage and forgiveness. During 30 years of wrongful incarceration, Anthony unified the inmates with a book club, showed them kindness, and opened their minds.
He also never gave up hope that the truth would someday be revealed.
The Sun Does Shine is a compelling, heart wrenching, memorable book that will change your life forever.
Read and watch various interviews between Oprah and Anthony Ray Hinton HERE.
Read my review of Oprah’s previous Book Club Selection HERE.