A book that is dripping in deep suffering and the understanding of this suffering; the stories are shocking, distressing and deplorably sad, they are laden with heart wrenching abuse of a diverse group of women, who happen to be prisoners. A book that should not be ignored; read it, but really read it, listen to these women and you'll understand who they are and also why they are who they are.
To me it speaks of the total ineptitude in today's society of addressing the issues of abuse (on all levels) and the link between this abuse and the future prison population. Furthermore, that in essence the individuals who find themselves imprisoned by the state continue to be punished by their abusers. Thank goodness people like Wally Lamb exist and choose to devote their time in helping to change the lives of these women, who have most often been the victims of deplorable crimes themselves, which have gone unpunished; whilst they, due to their painful memories and abusive existence cannot help but to walk upon a particular path of pain. Thankfully, through the art of creative writing these brave women have been able to transform their lives, either inside or outside of prison. The crimes that they committed of course cannot be denied, but the understanding of the origin of crime is surely the key to not only offering and receiving forgiveness, but in turn the true means to transform a person.
I cried with every one of these beautiful women's stories. I understand their pain and in their prose I have come to understand the root causes of suffering.