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Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman

When we are in our 20s, it is such an exciting time of life. Independence, adventure, and taking the world by storm, as we figure out who we are and what we want out of life, seems to be at the core of every young adult. We find jobs. We go to college. We build relationships outside of what we know as family, and childhood friends.

Piper Kerman was no different. At the tender age of 24, she began a romantic relationship. Things were exciting. She traveled to exotic places. She was living "the good life."

What she did not know was that the woman with whom she was involved in a West African drug operation. Heroin. Kerman was unaware for some time that she was in the middle of it. She was laundering money for the operation.

She left that relationship, and started living a "normal" life, met Larry, and was settling down as she approached 30-years-old. Life was good.

Much to her surprise in 1998, Kerman's past caught up to her and she was indicted for drug trafficking and money laundering, being turned in by her former lover. She pled guilty to the offenses.

It was not until six years after the indictment in 2004 that Piper Kerman began to serve her sentence of 15 months.

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison is a candid, raw, and often humorous, memoir by Kerman, which takes the reader through her path of self-discovery.

As well, she will take you into the world of the Federal Corrections system, exposing more than just a tale of a few bad girls.

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Copyright © 2015 Coral Levang

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msiduri wrote on October 8, 2015, 5:00 PM

I read the book also. I found her articulate, but very careful with what she admitted to.

CoralLevang wrote on October 8, 2015, 5:08 PM

Careful, but candid, nonetheless.
What impressed me, msiduri , is that any one of us could have been caught up in something like this. It really put a good perspective on the saying, "There for but the grace of God, go I." When I think of the antics that I pulled without regard to future...
Let's just say I've dodged a few bullets in my life.

msiduri wrote on October 8, 2015, 6:00 PM

Yes. And the boom was definitely lowered on her. I haven't seen the HBO series, but I was heartened at the end of the book to see her working for prison reform.

markgraham wrote on October 8, 2015, 7:19 PM

Is the book based on the series or the other way around.

DWDavisRSL wrote on October 8, 2015, 8:41 PM

I have not read the book but I did watch a good bit of the first episode of the series before I decided it wasn't for me.

Paulie wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:43 AM

Thanks for sharing an excellent book review. In reading the book, did you find that the problems of rape and homosexuality are just as prevalent in women's prisons as they are in men's?

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:32 AM

The book is the Hollywood version of the book. More about characters....
but the basis is all solidly from the book.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:33 AM

I watched the first two seasons on DVD and decided to read the memoirs.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:34 AM

I found that corruption in the system far outweighs the issues you mention.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:37 AM

I have seen the first two seasons on DVD. It was what made me interested in the book. The book and series are well-aligned. Of course, the characters' have stories made for tv...but after reading the book, I recognize the characters. She doesn't go into all the details like the show does.

I, too, am impressed with what her mission is where prison reform is concerned.

Paulie wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:49 AM

I have no doubt that corruption is a big problem in the prisons system.

DWDavisRSL wrote on October 9, 2015, 10:42 PM

While I don't think I'll watch the show, I may read the memoir. After reading your review I am intrigued enough to want to know more.

MegL wrote on October 10, 2015, 7:22 AM

I must read that book. I am surprised she pleaded guilty if she did not know what she was doing. It sounds interesting.

AliCanary wrote on October 10, 2015, 4:04 PM

Many women get caught up unwittingly in the drug trade, and some do it wittingly... I have my suspicions about which was true in her case, but I guess I would need to read more about it.

CoralLevang wrote on October 10, 2015, 4:51 PM

I think that she soon understood, but like many of us, we are caught in the middle of it and not sure how to get out of it at the moment.
I really enjoyed the book.

CoralLevang wrote on October 10, 2015, 4:52 PM

I think it was unwittingly at first, and was part of the lifestyle that goes along with it. She was young......