I was intrigued and looking forward to reading this book as it's not the normal story line I tend to read, what a sheer delight this story was, I truly didn't expect it to grab my attention the way it did. Every single spare moment I had found me picking up the book to to read more and follow the characters story, I loved it.
The authors superb writing led me quickly and easily into connecting with the characters in the story. The main character is Kristen, a mother of two boys, frustrated with her life turned to drink and started to steal money from the family firm she worked for. At first she stole small amounts but eventually led to stealing a total of half a million dollars with the end result being sentanced for 17 years in a woman's prison. The only thing that kept her going at the beginning was the kind and loving letters she receives from her sister-in-law Olivia keeping her up to date on the life outside, her sons were both too young, her husband too angry and her parents simply too busy. Kristin starts to realise what she has lost and you follow her emotional growth of character through her activities inside and her bond with the other cellmates.
Each cellmate has their own storyline that I strangely found myself understanding why they had found their way behind bars, my general view tends to be that people in prison are there because they deserve to be without giving a second thought about the background of their crime, this certainly made my question that. I loved each and every character and the interactions and stories that followed them, reading about the emotions that prisoners have and the sadness when they lose their cellmates. I find myself wanting to say so much more about them but that would really spoil the whole book for you to read and enjoy yourself.
One character I really liked to read about was Lakeisha, a prison officer who spent her days sorting through the inmates mail, checking for any contraband, as she merrily enjoys reading about the soap opera of the inmates lives and how she gets emotionally connected herself.
There was plenty of emotion in the story, some heartbreak, some 'oh no' moments and some joyful times. Some intimate scenes are also included in the story for those that may be offended. I have to be honest and say that I actually held off reading the last three chapters of the book because I simply did not want the book to end, that was just how much I was enjoying it. Eventually Kristin's sentence comes to an end and I found a couple of happy tears in my eyes reading the end of book.
Kim Cano is a truly talented author that I will absolutely be following from now on. I applaud her for her bravery on tackling the subject so close to her heart, based on her own family tragedy and find myself wondering if she knows just how much of a difference she is making to her sister in laws life