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Publisher's Summary

NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Biography/Autobiography

In her own words, Cyntoia Brown-Long shares the riveting and redemptive story of how she changed her life for the better while in prison, finding hope through faith after a traumatic adolescence of drug addiction, rape, and sex trafficking led to a murder conviction. 

“Those...years in prison hadn’t just turned me into woman. They transformed me. The girl who desperately wanted to belong, who felt powerless, who clawed, and scratched her way out of every corner she was backed into, was gone.” 

At the age of 16, Cyntoia Brown, a survivor of human trafficking, was arrested for killing a man who had picked her up for sex. Two years later, she was sentenced to life in prison. Brown reflects on the isolation, low self-esteem, and sense of alienation that drove her straight into the hands of a predator. Once in prison, she attempts to build a positive path and honor the values her beloved adoptive mother, Ellenette, taught her, but Cyntoia succumbs to harmful influences that drive her to a cycle of progress and setbacks. Then, a fateful meeting with a prison educator turned mentor offers Cyntoia the opportunity to make the pivotal decision to strive for a better future, even if she’s never freed. 

Here, Cyntoia shares the details of her transformation, including a profound encounter with God, an unlikely romance, an unprecedented outpouring of support from social media advocates and A-list celebrities, and her release from prison. A coming-of-age memoir set against the shocking backdrop of a life behind bars, Free Cyntoia takes you on a spiritual journey as Cyntoia struggles to overcome a lifetime of feeling ostracized and abandoned by society. 

©2019 To Be Confirmed (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Free Cyntoia

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Excellent!!!

Cyntoia Brown-Long gives her account of her life and how she was trafficked for sex but had no idea what she had been put through truly until after she was already sentenced to life in prison after killing a man who sought out to abuse her when she was 16 years old. She had been called a "teen prostitute" instead of a trafficking victim. She tells about her time in prison, how she worked hard to get a degree, found Jesus, found love, and was given freedom! What a captivating story and amazing journey! I am glad that her book came out so quickly too after her freedom, so I could learn more about her life. It is crazy to think how many petitions were signed for this to happen, and she totally deserved it!

4 people found this helpful

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To God be the Glory

This book is absolutely one of the most inspirational and faith filled books I’ve read.
Through Cyntoia’s testimony, I saw my own similar experiences. Her faith walk increased my faith. May God continue to lead her life as an example of his mercy, grace and greatness.

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Amazing!

In my professional life I work with justice-involved individuals so Mrs. Brown-Long story is all too familiar to me. This was such a good read and story of my two favorite things that God grants us Grace and Mercy.

Although it was a serious story it still had moments of humor which I enjoyed. Again, really good story.

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Redemption Isn't Easy

I listened to this book after several days of vacillating back and forth. Did I want to purchase a hard copy or could I be content listening to the author read her journey? I am grateful that Cyntoia and Jamie read her story. It made the tragedy that resulted in transformation resonate all the more with me. It was emotional hearing her describe her journey of needing acceptance.

It's so easy to be sterile and assume that the system doesn't make mistakes. That everyone who has ever been incarcerated deserved it. Cyntoia exemplifies what happens when lawyers, parents, educators etc, don't advocate for a child. Instead they allow them to be shuffled through the systematic imperfect processes that label an individual. There is no room to make allowances for mitigating circumstances. No compassion for those who look different than you or have a different perspective of "normal."

This is the truth of a young woman who's intellect and flippant attitude often impeded her ability to communicate what her needs were. She eventually succumbed to the ideology that others knew best. The mother who raised her had no clue her daughter's esteem was on the auction block. The mother who walked away from her didn't check in to ensure that her mistakes weren't repeated. The world of black and white became her world. From her ethnicity to the way she was drug through the system no one saw the grey areas that could have given her an opportunity for the inner freedom she needed to overcome internal and external obstacles. No one that is but God. As she says, He never stopped in His pursuit of me even when I denounced Him to whomever was listening. That knowledge was the key to the release she needed in order to fully appreciate life outside of the walls. I pray she will honor the covenant she made with God and continue to advocate for people worldwide who have no one to speak for them.

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Heavy start, but worth the listen.

The telling of her rough beginnings was kinda tough to get through (HEAVY, HEAVY). I had to put it down for awhile and regroup. Her redemption story is powerful and telling.

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Deep in the heart of Texas

I'm amazed and appretiate that Cyntoia wrote and did the audio for her book soon after her release. Congratulations you're home now.

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An interesting story but with many gaps

She did a good job of reading this book.
The story, however has some serious gaps. She does not really help the reader to understand why, despite her wonderful adoptive mother, she gets into so much trouble. Later in the story her defense attorneys explain it by fetal alcohol syndrome from her birth mother. This does not seem an adequate explanation.
It is not clear why she killed a man. It seems to be implied that it was self-defense but it certainly is not explained well.
The other thing I would say about this book is that she has a real missionary zeal about God’s involvement in her life. It gets to be a bit much for the average reader, I think. It is also puzzling why someone like Jaime would take such a liking to her and devote himself so thoroughly to her.
The important message in this book regards our judicial and penal system. For that, it is worth reading.

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Free Cyntoia

Amazing story of redemption. Hearing her voice reading her words was wonderful. First time listening to a book and felt every word Cyntoia was saying...peace and blessings to her and her family.

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Awesome

This book was so amazing! From beginning to end! I highly recommend it! Cyntoia’s testimony was breathtaking!!! Glory to God!

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Very deep

I really enjoyed this book! It’s real deep & touching. Y’all have to read this. This book explains her day to day life. It touches bases on what led up to the moment she was convicted and after! Enjoy!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anthony M.
  • 12-24-19

Amazing

Loved it. Brilliant must read book. Captivating and triumphant!!! Sad also but so inspiring

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  • Gerri
  • 10-30-20

One of the best books I've read

Loved it didn't want it to end, Cyntoia is such an inspirational young woman.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-20

A Great Story!!!

I had strong emotions listening to her story!
God bless You! You are such a strong woman and will always be!

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  • Dog in a Flat Cap
  • 05-31-20

Excellent

Just an excellent, excellent book, well told and with a wonderfully inspiring message. Recommended. Initially I didn’t quite get into it and left it languishing in my audible library for months, but I’m so glad I revisited it. Cyntoia reads with such candour and warmth and it was great to hear the story directly from her, rather than a hired narrator.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-20

My heart broke and was put back together


Thank you Cyntoia, I have seen the Lords
Love, mercy and goodness through your story. ❤️

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-20

Great read

Couldn't put this down. Excellent read which highlights the many layers leading up to the worst period of Cyntoia's extremely rough childhood. Documntry on nexflix is great but the book gives you even more. Upset the book is finished now. 😢

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  • Ramona Tobin
  • 06-17-20

Ovet-rated by far

I normally pay $14 a month to Kindle unlimited and choose as many books for $0 extra but after seeing the movie, I paid $36 for this online book. Although the story is real and heart breaking, I feel the book was very much a Bible pushing effort that just did not keep me interested at all. I have skipped through great amounts at a time just to get it finished. Disappointed.