Sunday, June 9, 2024

All the Colors of the Dark

All the Colors of the Dark by Chris Whitaker
6/25/24; 608 pages
Crown Publishing

All the Colors of the Dark by Chris Whitaker is a brilliant literary epic drama spanning decades and genres. This exceptional, very highly recommended novel is certainly one of the best novels of 2024. If you loved Whitaker's We Begin at the End (2020) then please read All the Colors of the Dark.

It is 1975 in the small town of Monta Clare, Missouri, where Saint Brown and her best friend Joseph “Patch” Macauley are best friends. Saint, whose parents are both deceased, lives with her grandmother and keeps bees. Patch was born with one eye, thus the nickname and his love of all things pirate related. He lives with his neglectful single mother. When Patch sees a man attacking Misty, a popular girl from school, he steps in to stop it. Misty escapes but Patch is captured instead and held captive in a dark basement for many months. 

Saint is determined to find her best friend and never loses hope, always seeking clues about his whereabouts. Her dogged persistence and tenacity is never-ending. While captive in the total darkness of the basement, Patch meets a girl, Grace, who tells him stories from places across the country and keeps him safe. Grace gives Patch hope and a reason to survive. 

And this is just a very brief taste of what awaits you when reading All the Colors of the Dark.

What follows is a glorious, heartbreaking literary saga that covers 1975 to 2001. It is an in-depth character study that merges together, in part, as a domestic drama, a coming-of-age tale, a missing person mystery, a serial killer thriller, a story of obsession, and a love story, a prison drama, and more. The short chapters are from the point-of-view of Saint or Patch. Once I started reading All the Colors of the Dark I was totally immersed in the believable and heartrending world Whitaker paints. It is a long novel, but was impossible to put down.

The writing is eloquent, descriptive, poignant, and the final result is simply a masterpiece. Whitaker is such a gifted writer! All of his characters come to life as fully realized individuals with strengths and flaws. I felt like I intimately knew all of the characters and their story will continue to resonate with me for years. Bravo, Chris Whitaker - All the Colors of the Dark is a masterpiece of literature. Thanks to Crown Publishing for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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