I really enjoyed the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, and I was delighted to find out that there was a real-life memoir on which it was based. So, I hurried out and got it on my Kindle.
I did enjoy this book; it was an easy read, and an interesting one, and really added something to my experience of watching the show. I would certainly recommend it to any fans of the show as a foil to the experience of watching.
I did have some reservations. While acknowledging the existence of institutionalised racial and class prejudice, the tone tended towards the “I see now what I have done, and I have learned my lesson, and now I go back into society pitying those poor black/Hispanic women locked into a cycle of crime, and now everyone else can see how I have become a prison-mending superhero”, and I feel very conflicted because I am sure she has struck a huge blow for women in prison, and I am sure she does make a big difference on the board of prisons now she is a free woman, but in the end I found it a little self-congratulatory.
It’s a little navel-gazey, a little self-regarding. That niggled at me a little, but overall I would strongly recommend this book. And the TV series, at that!
Rating: 3.5 stars