With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.
From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Orange is the New Black offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison, why it is we lock so many away, and what happens to them when they're there.
©2010 Piper Kerman (P)2012 Tantor
"Fascinating....The true subject of this unforgettable audiobook is female bonding and the ties that even bars can't unbind." (People)
I watched the television series by the same name which lead me to the book. I couldn't believe it was based on a true story! Piper's story on its own is very intriguing. Reading her book also give insight to how the war on drugs and for-profit prisons have created casualties of drug addicts and the poor. Eventually, most of 2.5 million inmates in US prisons will be released after serving their time. Branded for life and some of their fundamental rights as US citizens revoked, they'll return to a world where the punishment continues with slim to no chance of gaining a foothold in normal society. As a country, I think we can do better when it comes to justice for all.
Do people know every book can't be a 5-star book or the ratings are meaningless? On any site! Same goes for Goodreads.
Piper is really self-involved in the beginning. I disliked her arrogance.
Eventually, she does show growth and it is more interesting to learn about other people. Most of them have been denied real justice and never had or will ever have any of the opportunities or privilege that Piper has.
I think the TV series is better, but I found the true story compelling to a point. She is a very lucky woman.
I never saw the tv series and this has been languishing in my audio library for awhile. Sure wish I got to it sooner, as it was really interesting. I was fascinated by her journey to Danbury and learning about life in federal prison. The narration was good and I forgot it wasn't Piper reading the book!
I liked the author's genuine tone, her honesty and her insight. She made sense of what happened to her in prison, how she got there, and her spiritual growth in the 13 months of her sentence. She took responsibility for the bad choices leading to incarceration and the impact of her decisions while imprisoned. Her story is engaging and very worth the time it takes to listen.
This story was not only well written, but blatantly truthful and sobering. I was on an emotional roller coaster the entire time, and couldn't wait until my commute to listen for another hour! My only criticism is the ending...which I will leave to you to decide for yourself!
I finally finished this book after trying for a year and a half (life got in the way). It is vaguely like the show with some memorable bits here and there from the first few seasons like Taystee, Red, the lake and Chicago. The book was very tedious and had a cold aura to it at parts. Chapter 18 "It Can Always Get Worse" broke my heart.
On a positive note, viewing the show first helped me envision the story and Cassandra Campbell did an absolutely terrific job at narrating!
I didn't like this book at all. the writing was good, the narrator was excellent but the story was mundane if that is possible. I felt like I was sitting there with the author doing her time with her. I respect the insights she shares about her experience but I just didn't like the constant turnstile of characters and surface observations of the writer. I think it could have been condensed into a novella. when it was finally over I was relieved. The only thing I wished for was some more details on life after but I'm not sure I could have come along with the author for any more of her observations.
To see prison through the eyes of "the girl next door" amazed me. This book is written with humor and insight into a world almost unimaginable to those of us on the outside. It was not at all what I had been expecting and I just couldn't stop listening. Then I sat down to watch the television show inspired by the book. If you have watched the show, you still need to read the book to hear the real story. And, if you have read the book, then you should watch the show just because it is fun!
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