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Inside These Walls

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  25 reviews
There is only one day, and I live it over and over...

For Clara Mattingly, routine is the key to enduring the endless weeks, months and years of a life sentence in a women's prison. The convicted murderer never looks back at who she once was--a shy young art student whose life took a sudden tragic turn. And she allows herself no hope for a better future. Survival is a day-t
ebook, 400 pages
Published January 1st 2014 by Mira Books (first published December 3rd 2013)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 I first read this author as a buddy read, one of my first buddy reads in fact, and the book we read was the author's first as well, The Kingdom of Childhood. It was a very controversial book about a taboo subject and I was amazed at how sensitively and brilliantly the author handled the subject matter.

This is her third and once again she has taken a character that the reader should immediately disdain for the horrible acts she has participated in, willingly or not. Yet, somehow this doesn't
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 1 /2 stars

My View:
This is a beautiful, poignant and haunting story.

I loved every minute of this narrative; the writing is clear, clean, understated and elegant. The protagonist’s voice has a particular sense of calm and peace that I found mesmerising and very, very moving. The story itself is powerful and very sad and very relevant to the social issues and Royal Commissions that countries like Australia are trying to deal with today; this one story speaks so well for the victims of so many kin
Vika Ryabova
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-english
Клара, 47 лет, заключенная. Она в тюрьме пожизненно и сидит уже почти 25 лет, так что работает не в прачечной, а получила работу сложную, потребовавшую обучения – изготавливает книги для слепых. На прогулках она всегда старается приманить и погладить кошку, а в камере в свободные часы занимается балетом. Посетителей она не ждет. Но неожиданно ее навещает... молодая женщина - и все изменяется.

В уведомлении для читателей автор пишет, что книга возникла как «побочный секретный проект» - ей хотелос
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book captivated and moved me from the first to the last page !
Rebecca Coleman has a real talent for writing. The several subjects of this novel are all very touchy and she showed lots of sensitivity and accuracy in her writing.
Rebecca Coleman unfolded the story with lots of patience, which keeps the suspense while allowing to know better the character of Clara. I liked the character of Clara from the beggining. Her past and her character are really consistent, I think Rebecca Coleman real
Michele Whitecotton
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised at how much I actually liked this book, I thought it was excellent. It really shows you how you shouldn't judge a person based on their worst deed. I enjoyed Clara as a character, she was very well written. She was living a life sentence in prison and this book did a great job showing the rest of us what that would be like. She knew what she did and didn't make excuses and once we got into the meat of the story, it felt almost justified. Without giving anything away, I thought it ...more
Yuska Vonita
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I've always been fascinated with prison stories. So, I'm not surprised that I like this book.

Clara is serving a life sentence for doing something terrible in the past. In her crll, she's alone, cutting herself off from other inmates, and depressed.

I learned about Clara's past. How she committed a crime and somehow, I think that she's just naive.

This book is haunting, beautiful, and heartbreaking at the same time. I enjoy every sentence Ms Coleman wrote through Clara. Captivating from the first p
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
It's rare that I have to get a book the day it comes out, but Rebecca Coleman is the kind of author that makes me want to do that. Like her last two books I couldn't put this one down - such a compelling read. ...more
Holy. Crap. This book was fantastic and unexpected and just plain awesome. I'm reeling . . . and didn't want it to end. But it put a knot in my stomach, too? So complicated. Review to come. ...more
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book... the end tied up everything really well
Kim Huggins
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
(4.5 stars) I really enjoyed this book! Any chance of a sequel...a love story, perhaps?
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: difficult-life
A talented person, with an artist's eyes and with an art degree, doing life without parole. What does someone like that do with their need to create, when they are leading such a barren life? This person had to learn how to give meaning to her life, despite the circumstances, and she had to do this to a highly functional level.

She used her abilities with art by making Braille books in the prison shop. She tamed her mind by thinking things through, and by learning to adapt. She filled some idle t

This was an engrossing read. It's one of those in which you should not like the main character, you should be repulsed by her actions.. yet you find sympathy for her. I did get frustrated with her sometimes, though. As "perfect" as the ending may have seemed, I did like it. I think Clara made some bad choices so many years ago, and was driven to some of her actions by what happened to her. I was pleased she was getting a second chance.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started kind of slow.... But I liked the second half better.
Aussie bookworm
Jan 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Prison Dramas have always been interesting to me, to be locked up without the chance to be released, To receive insight on what when so wrong in these peoples lives to have ended up in prison in the first place, so when I saw this book it immediately ended up on my TBR list.

Clara is currently serving a life sentence for a stupid mistake in her younger years, Through this story we meet Clara who has cut herself off from most inmates to keep her head down and do her time. You get the feeling that
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A recommended read.

Rebecca Coleman's latest release, Inside These Walls, is an incredibly compelling and fascinating character driven novel. Narrated in first person by protagonist Clara Mattingly, this insightful story is a candid portrayal of a life gone tragically wrong.

When Inside These Walls first opens, Clara has served 25 years of a life sentence for murder. Although a movie has been made about the crimes and despite numerous media requests, she has never granted a single interview. An un
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
When I read the summary for this story I was intrigued. How does one live a lifetime in prison? No hope for release, no freedom, the fear of prison violence, the utter futility of continuing to repeat each day until the mercy of your death?
In Inside These Walls, we are introduced to Clare Mattingly who is serving the 25th year of a life sentence for murder.
This story explores the life she has lived in such a way. The minutiae of everyday life lived in imprisonment. The small ways Clare found to
Francois Houle
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Clara, incarcerated for the last 25 years with no chance of parole.

I really enjoyed reading this story. It's beautifully told and you really hope that good things will come to Clara. She's not really a horrible person although what she did at the age of 23 was horrendous. She is filled with regret and wants to do good.

It's also a love story with her partner in crime Ricky. Told in letters to different people for the most part, I still found it very engaging and curious as t
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
For some reason I thought this was a book of short stories from women in prison. I quickly found out that was not the case, but decided to read it anyway. Thankfully it was a quick, short read. Utterly unbelievable about a woman in prison. Thought provoking? No. Redemptive? No. Full of mythical characters and situations? Yes. lol Perpetuates myths about sexual offenders, and people who murder others but were "compelled" to do it. We were supposed to be sympathetic for the main character, but thi ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca Coleman gets to the heart of her characters with a sensitive and delicate hand. Clara is fully fleshed and the setting, a women's correctional facility, is not as limiting as one would suppose as Coleman mines Clara's memories to dig deep into not just the how Clara finds herself behind bars, but the why. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to take the time to understand motivations and forgiveness. ...more
Mary Anne
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is another book I devoured during the baby's 2 week stay in the hospital. I read the Author's first book and enjoyed her writing style so I gladly downloaded this novel. I enjoyed this piece so much more than the first book. A great look inside a woman's prison and the impact one bad choice can have on life. Her characters were very well developed and easy to root for and against. ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this book club read was going to be a real downer, but I was surprised at how much I got into the story and the lives of the main characters. And the ending wasn't what I had expected, either. ...more
Jessica Gardner
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is not the type of book that I would usually read, but it was really well done. It is the story of a woman serving life in prison for murder and the process of her trying to come to terms with her past.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderful story about life in prison, though end is not realistic. Full review ...more
Marisa Turpin
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow. What a quick read because it was such a page turner. It's hard to believe how much you can grow to admire a fictional character who is in jail for murder! ...more
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Aug 19, 2014
Alisha Leavelle
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Feb 22, 2018
Emma Worczak
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Feb 27, 2016
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Feb 19, 2014
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received her B.A. in English literature from the University of Maryland at College Park and speaks to writers' groups on the subjects of creative writing and publishing. A native New Yorker, she now lives and works near Washington, D.C. ...more

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