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Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption | [Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, Erin Torneo]

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape and eventually identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken - but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After 11 years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed.
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Publisher's Summary

Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape and eventually identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken - but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After 11 years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed.

Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face - and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives. In their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

©2009 Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Injustice and redemption are overused words, but this heartfelt joint memoir justifies its subtitle." (Kirkus)
"Touching" (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (60 )
5 star
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4.6 (36 )
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4.4 (34 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Professor Sombrero 06-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
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    Overall
    "Listen for the story not the writing"

    The story was compelling and they did a good job of building anticipation even though you know the outcome - particularly in the beginning. The writing itself was ok. The female reader was a little too sing-songy but I liked the male reader. It did prompt me to research a little more about it on the internet. I gave it for stars because of the subject matter and how sad yet positive it ends up. I'd have only given it three based on the writing itself.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 02-10-14
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 02-10-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
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    Story
    "Incredible Story!!!"
    Where does Picking Cotton rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It would be in my top 10 maybe even my top 5.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Picking Cotton?

    When Ronald meets goes to prison


    What about Richard Allen and Karen White ’s performance did you like?

    Everything,


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, and again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Atlanta, GA, United States 07-24-12
    Heather Atlanta, GA, United States 07-24-12

    hunthead2

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story and reading are layered and complex"
    If you could sum up Picking Cotton in three words, what would they be?

    Heart-wrenching, heart-warming, layered


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Picking Cotton?

    The description of Ronald Cotton's decision to not use a shiv in prison on an intended enemy. Based on advice from his father.


    What does Richard Allen and Karen White bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Richard Allen's voice is mellifluous and entrancing. He does a first-class job of presenting that his character is flawed but innocent and that he retains hos hope and dignity through and unjust system and process.

    Karen White makes her character - whom readers could so easily dismiss as an antagonist - a hero in her own right. She helps us to understand how a very "good" person could be the principal agent in assisting something "bad" to happen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book while training for a long-distance walking event and could literally forget about the 100 degree heat and sweltering humidity and walk for 2, 4, even 6 hours entranced in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    This book explores very complex issues that arose from a true-life situation that can only be described as a no-win situation for its victims involved. But these people gutted it out and survived to go on and find true happiness and friendship together. I cried in sadness, anger, fear, and ultimately in heartfelt cheer. Who needs fiction when we have such rich and layered true life stories. Stories everybody should hear and know.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrance Rockville, Moldova, Republic of 07-29-10
    Terrance Rockville, Moldova, Republic of 07-29-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    10
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    "A Story of Healing"

    This is one of those feel-good stories that cuts across racial and socio-economic boundaries. The story is well-told, though not particularly well-written. The male narration is excellent, you can almost see Cotton's face as his parts of the story are spoken a distinctive "Nor-uth Curolinuh" drawl. Worth buying at the discounted price, but not worth spending a credit on. I'm cheap.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Knox USA 04-06-09
    J. Knox USA 04-06-09 Member Since 2009

    JK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i like the idea of this memoir"

    but the writing wasn't engaging, and i found the book relies on the potentially shocking story. i appreciate the sentiment though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie San Jose, CA, United States 05-05-13
    Laurie San Jose, CA, United States 05-05-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This Story Could Have Been so Much More"
    Would you try another book from the authors and/or Richard Allen and Karen White ?

    I would not pick another book by this author. The true events that are the basis for this book are shocking and amazing, but the story is poorly written. I should have been scared or shaken at certain points and crying at others. I wasn't. Had this story been told by another author, it could have been a completely different story.


    What about Richard Allen and Karen White ’s performance did you like?

    The performances of the readers were good.


    Could you see Picking Cotton being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, and I think this is a case where the movie would actually be better than the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The author should have switched points of view more often so that we could see the two lives more in parallel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Bloomfield Hills, MI, United States 11-25-12
    Sharon Bloomfield Hills, MI, United States 11-25-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A great message of forgiveness ."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. I enjoy non-fiction. This story reminds us of how everyone makes mistakes--even our justice system. This is a great message of forgiveness and healing.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The speech Jennifer gave at the rally at the end of the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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