Wednesday, March 2, 2011

14: Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, by Piper Kerman, is the story of a girl who gets put in jail for a year on a ten-year old drug related charge that she performed in college. At the time she’s put on trial, she’s a professional woman and not the same twenty-year-old who ran a suitcase of drugs for a “friend” across international borders. The book showcases Piper’s days in jail, and the relationships (not that kind!) that form when women band together.

I liked this book. It reads like a blog, and I like those, so this was just good reading. It wasn’t super engaging. Good, but forgettable. I think I expected more at the end… it just kind of ends. No wrap up of whether she keeps in touch with friends, no discussion on how she’s doing now, no talk on how her year behind bars affected her relationships with her parents, her fiancĂ© and her friends (who all came to visit her weekly). I think her experienced was probably different than many people’s experiences in jail. Piper came from a wealthy family, she had as much money as she wanted to spend in jail, she was already a healthy person, so she did her yoga and ran her 10 miles (allegedly a day, but I find that hard to believe!) and she tried to eat healthy. She knew she was only in there for a short period of time and not ten years like some of the women she met.

Those criticisms aside, it is a good book. It’s fast-paced. It doesn’t drag. It’s easy to pick up and easy to put down. I give it a 7/10.

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