Louise's Reviews > Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
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's review
May 24, 2011

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bookshelves: memoirs
Read in May, 2011

Ten years ago, Piper Kerman was a young reckless, carefree recent college graduate. Not knowing what else to with her life she made some decisions and those choices have finally caught up to her. Ten years prior she delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe never dreaming she’d ever be caught, especially after all this many years.

Sentenced to 15-months in the Danbury, Connecticut prison for women she was now prisoner #111187-424, just one of the millions of people incarcerated in the United States each year.

On February 4, 2004, 10 years after she committed her crime, Piper’s boyfriend, Larry, drove her to the prison and kissed her goodbye for the final time. Together they walked inside, took a seat and waited. It wasn’t long until a guard with a nasty scar down the side of her face and neck barked out: “KERMAN!” and thus began Piper’s first day of incarceration where she’ll meet women from all walks of life, experience her first strip search, and learns how to navigate her strange new world.

Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison.

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