Hannah's Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful

Every Color Beautiful

Fiction - Womens
392 Pages
Reviewed on 06/12/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. She is also a freelance editor and a paid book reviewer.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Supernatural and Outlander, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

Hannah's Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful by Cynthia Hilston is a moving book about the Rechthart family in the nineteen hundreds and the years after, focusing on the point of view of their second youngest child, Hannah Rechthart, as she grows up and goes through many changes in her life. These changes include trying to adjust to having her sister move out of the house to start her own family, growing up, growing closer and then apart from her brother, Harry, all the while struggling to keep her family together, and then going through the Depression and World War II. This is a story of family, love, and life.

This story is absolutely amazing. Hannah Rechthart is a woman who kept going and always did her best, and she was well-loved for it. She is kind, brave, and just really very wonderful. I love her. I love the story. I cried so many times through it all, happy tears and sad ones. This book resonated with me; it felt like I was there through all the ups and downs that Hannah and her family went through. It’s a story of loss and so much love. I could really feel the emotion it took to lovingly craft every word of this wonderful book. The characters were so human; to me they came alive with every word and action. It was so easy to put myself into their shoes, see their point of view, feel how they felt in that moment. I could feel their joy and understand their pain. They made mistakes, they learned from it, they loved, they lost, they cried, I cried with them. This is a beautiful story of how sometimes life can be cruel and unjust, but this can make you stronger and how not giving up goes a long way; after all, you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.

Lit Amri

Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful by Cynthia Hilston is a pictorial and poignant story about the Rechthart family, centering on the fourth child, Hannah Lucille Rechthart. This story is based loosely on Hilston’s grandmother, Emma Grundman, who was born in 1912. We follow Hannah’s journey as she grows up, dealing with adolescence, adulthood and all the up and downs in life as she faces some changes and challenges in the family. With WWI, the Great Depression, WWII and other events in the background, Hilston shines a light on people’s lives back in some of my favorite eras, where everything was simple and not dominated by everyday technology, but complicated with ever-changing dynamics in the family and other relationships.

There are life-changing events – marriage, love, illness, death, childbirth, conflict – but also a depiction of domestic life that is utterly credible, which of course is possible as some are facts based on Hilston’s own family. The clear-cut prose and narrative’s tone made the reading flawless and kept me engaged from start to finish. The story pace is rather swift, but I feel everything is told vividly and nothing is left behind. The dialogue feels natural and appropriate as the characters go through the different era of the '20s, '30s, '40s and so on. I’ve come to love the Rechthart family and felt very connected to their joy and sadness. On the whole, Hannah’s Rainbow is a relaxing, family-centric and fairly cinematic read that delivers emotional punches at the right moment. Kudos to Hilston for this wonderful book.

Mamta Madhavan

Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful by Cynthia Hilston is a story that revolves around Hannah Rechthart and is loosely based on the author’s grandmother, Emma Grundman. Cynthia Hilston has fictionalized much of the story though some events covered are factual as she chronicles her grandmother’s story from an early age till the end. After losing her friend and oldest sister Amy to marriage, Hannah develops a close bond with her brother Harry. Things change when Harry meets with an accident and he is blamed for his date Katherine Jones’ death. Readers travel through many eras along with the author and, as Hannah struggles to hold her family together, we get to see a woman of immense strength, perseverance, courage, and fortitude.

The author is descriptive in her narration, which helps readers connect well with Hannah and her family. The portrayal of the characters is real and the war letters written by Hannah to Edward are actually based on her grandma’s letters to her husband, Howard. The author does a great job weaving in family relationships and how they can change during the course of life and living. There is a lot of warmth and love in the author’s words and her portrayal of complicated relationships is palpable while reading. The book is indeed a revelation as to how the author’s grandmother’s memories live on. It is a heartwarming story about family and relationships and will leave a lasting impression in the minds of readers.

Karen Edwards

This book is a compelling and touching story of an ethnic Cleveland, Ohio family placed in historical perspective. It is both a family saga and a romance. It is fiction but based loosely on the life of the author's grandmother and her efforts to repair the family after it is fractured by an auto accident involving her brother, then saddened by the early death of her sister in childbirth. Later, she makes similar efforts with problems in her own family after falling in love with Edward, marrying, and having three children. It covers her life from childhood to death and through the turbulent periods of history--the 1920s, Depression, WWII, the post-war era, and three later decades. Hannah may have been an ordinary homemaker and mother but was special in her own way through her family commitment, practicality, and ability to overcome challenges. She was a good student and musician but, unable to develop her talent fully due to finances, became a good secretary. She is determined to see that her children do develop their abilities. The themes cover family relationships, parents and children, the dangers of alcoholism and other excesses, friendship, and perseverance. The main characters are well-developed. The story is interesting and touching, and the writing flows well.