10 years after her offence for smuggling a suitcase of drug money across borders, Piper Kerman starts her 15 month sentence at a minimum security women’s prison. She was not the sort of woman anyone expected to be there. This is her memoir.
So first off I should point out I haven’t watched the TV show based on this book, so I can’t make comparisons. I have heard it is quite different though. Certainly it’s been made more dramatic than this non-fiction tale which shines the light on the kind and generous nature of Piper’s fellow inmates. It’s not what I was expecting. She was undoubtedly a very lucky woman, to have an amazing support system on the outside but also her circumstances inside the prison weren’t as bleak as you’d imagine.
Piper’s main focus is to show the injustice of the statutory minimum sentences for drug offences in the US. Many of the women are inside for minor things and their sentences are certainly not about rehabilitation. Instead the prison makes it even harder for them to sort their lives out afterwards. In showing the positive sides of the women she befriended, it’s easier to make her argument. She felt it would be just as effective for her to have done the time in community service, working with the kind of people she hurt through her actions.
The strength of the book for me was the anecdotal nature of the way they all spent their days and the small trials and tribulations of life inside a prison where you have to look out for each other. It’s a book that’s probably better dipped into as reading for long stretches made me crave a proper story with dramatic ups and downs. Though prison is monotonous, so it can only reflect what she experienced.
I did like their creativity with the limited food they had and their microwaved delicacies. I started to crave some prison cheesecake after a while and some chilaquiles (basically tortillas cooked in salsa). You don’t expect food cravings from a book about prison!
I read this for book group and many of my fellow members felt Piper was a bit self-centred and they wanted more information on the other inmates. There are probably more in-depth books on the subject out there but this is an easy read, and is a different perspective than we usually get to see in the media. So I think it’s worth reading if you’re interested in the subject matter but not if you’re after some sort of expose or thrilling read.
Also reviewed @ The Aussie Zombie
Book Source: Purchased
Subscribe via Email
Somehow it's March already, here are 28 books hitting the shelves this month! https://t.co/xfhhuDSBIpFollow
Scully keeps stealing cauliflowers! This would not be weird if she stole other food items. But we can leave her wi… https://t.co/RgkyjAu6OaFollow
If you happen to be reading articles about Kazuo Ishiguro/Klara and the Sun having not read (or watched) Never Let… https://t.co/Sql7aCHQ6VFollow
Today he would become a god. His mother had told him so. The opening line may seem like something any mother would tell her son, but in the case of Serapio, his mother truly believes he will become the Crow God reborn. She blinds him,…
The day Bree gets accepted into an early college placement at UNC, is the day her mother dies. The last words they spoke were of anger. Unable to deal with her dad’s grief on top of her own, Bree goes ahead with the placement. Once…
Alex Stern does not belong at Yale. When she awakes as the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, presumed a drug deal gone wrong, she is given an unlikely offer. Come to Yale, join the House of Lethe and oversee the rituals of the other…
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
Just let me dust off this blog thing, I have a review for you! One of my anticipated reads released during lockdown was the follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. If you read that, of course will will be dying to know what happened to…