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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
In the beginning of Gillian Thorp’s intensely personal and moving memoir, The Colour of the Sun, an early reader remarks: “… there are some stories that don’t just stick with you; they become a part of you.” I quote this observation because it’s true. Sometimes, one comes across an exquisite piece of writing that inhabits one’s own being with the wisdom, experience, compassion, and transformative, cleansing tears of another. One does not simply imbibe a journal of distant recollections. Instead, we are privileged to share the vivid intimacy and higher meaning more often meant for the individual alone. Only great courage and generosity from an author allows this deeper thing to happen.
When the author writes as beautifully as Gillian Thorp in The Colour of the Sun, magic happens. Her story begins in South Africa, and her indelible opening sentence should become a classic of the genre: “I was born among thieves.” In addition, Ms. Thorp employs an irresistible style for telling her life story. First, she speaks as an observer of her time and place with unrelenting, gorgeous prose on which the smitten reader simply wants to float. Then, like a spirit come to earth, she inhabits uniquely defining moments with her unresisting, lucid presence. Just so, the reader is invited to share both her objective observations and her vivid memories. You will not be left unscarred. You will not be left unchanged. This book will indeed become a part of you. Even the trail of tears you walk on at the end will become a part of your path, too.