The Sun Does Shine Book Summary - The Sun Does Shine Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Sun Does Shine summary

Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin

How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

4.9 (24 ratings)
29 mins

Brief summary

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin is a powerful memoir of a man who spent 30 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.
Table of Contents

    The Sun Does Shine
    Summary of 11 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 11

    Hinton grew up in Alabama against a backdrop of racial discrimination and tension.

    In the beginning of the 1970s in Alabama, Hinton and his friends prepared to start attending a white school, after segregation had been abolished in the state. His mother sat him down and gave him a warning. Don’t try to talk to any white girls, she said. Keep your eyes down. Be polite to teachers and follow the rules. Get home fast.

    Growing up as a Black man in Alabama in the 1970s meant experiencing constant racism.

    Alabama had been a deeply segregated state, so it was only at the beginning of the decade that a Black person could go into a diner, sit at a counter and order a burger. And even in the mid-seventies, you could tell that servers weren’t happy about the new arrangement.

    Despite the end of segregation laws, the 1970s were a decade when the threat of violence was ever present. Hinton remembers one time when a church was bombed, and he and the other children had to stay at home. His mother warned him to run if a car full of white men ever pulled up alongside him.

    Things at school weren’t much better. One time, playing basketball for his school, Hinton scored 30 points in a half – a school record. He walked off the court to chants that he thought were “Hin-ton! Hin-ton!” But he was a little confused when he realized that the opposition crowd was chanting the same thing. That was when it dawned on him; they were actually shouting a racial slur. His pride turned to shame in an instant.

    Despite growing up in this atmosphere, Hinton had a largely happy upbringing. His mother raised him well, although he was by no means an angel.

    In 1975, Hinton stole a car. Hitchhiking as a Black person was very risky, and he needed to get around. Like most young men, he wanted to work. And he wanted to get out and meet women.

    He drove this car for two years until he heard that the police were looking for him. He had felt guilt growing inside him for a long time, and he confessed to his mother, who told him she raised him to admit his wrongs. He turned himself over to the police and served some jail time.

    It was a relief to confess his guilt. But he didn’t enjoy his time in jail. The food was bad, his cell stank and he hated the lack of freedom. Prison, he decided, was not for him.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Sun Does Shine?

    Key ideas in The Sun Does Shine

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Sun Does Shine about?

    The Sun Does Shine (2018) is the shocking, tragic and, ultimately, inspiring tale of an innocent man’s fight for freedom. Found guilty of two murders he didn’t commit, Anthony Ray Hinton spent almost thirty years on death row. Not only did he never give up hope; he found a way to live, to find friendship and to gain freedom.

    The Sun Does Shine Review

    The Sun Does Shine (2018) is an inspiring and heart-wrenching true story that captivates readers. Here's what makes this memoir exceptional:

    • It offers a firsthand account of the flaws in the American justice system and the power of hope and resilience.
    • The book sheds light on the importance of advocacy and the impact it can have on an individual's life.
    • It serves as a call to action for readers to raise awareness and fight against injustice.

    Experience the incredible journey of Anthony Ray Hinton in The Sun Does Shine.

    Best quote from The Sun Does Shine

    My only crime was being born black, or being born black in Alabama.

    —Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin
    example alt text

    Who should read The Sun Does Shine?

    • Anyone who cares about justice
    • Readers interested in racial inequality
    • People who love an inspiring story of the human spirit

    About the Author

    Anthony Ray Hinton is a Black man from Alabama. He’s been advocating for the abolition of the death penalty since his experience on death row.

    Lara Love Hardin is a writer who has helped write books including Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s The Book of the Future.

    Categories with The Sun Does Shine

    Book summaries like The Sun Does Shine

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    30 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Sun Does Shine FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Sun Does Shine?

    The main message of The Sun Does Shine is the power of hope, resilience, and advocacy in the face of injustice.

    How long does it take to read The Sun Does Shine?

    Reading The Sun Does Shine typically takes about 6-8 hours, while the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Sun Does Shine a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Sun Does Shine is a deeply moving and inspiring book that is absolutely worth reading.

    Who is the author of The Sun Does Shine?

    The authors of The Sun Does Shine are Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin.

    How many chapters are in The Sun Does Shine?

    The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin has 15 chapters. Each chapter tells a different part of Hinton's life story, focusing on his experiences on death row and his eventual exoneration.

    How many pages are in The Sun Does Shine?

    There are 272 pages in The Sun Does Shine.

    When was The Sun Does Shine published?

    The Sun Does Shine was published in 2018.

    What to read after The Sun Does Shine?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Sun Does Shine, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
    • The Intelligence Trap by David Robson
    • Do What Matters Most by Rob Shallenberger and Steve Shallenberger
    • The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman
    • Goals by Zig Ziglar
    • The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
    • Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte
    • Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch
    • The Pivot Year by Brianna Wiest
    • On the Shortness of Life by Seneca