What Sisters and Oblates Are Reading

Picking Cotton

Picking Cotton
by Cannino, Cotton, Torneo
St. Martin's Griffin

Jackie Burns, oblate

This title of this book caught my eye when I saw it on the table in front of one of the women in a program at the prison. Curiosity got the better of me and I went home and downloaded it to my Kindle, expecting a writing with some sort of enlightenment regarding racial issues.

While there is indeed a complexity of racial issues within the book, it is in reality a profound story of justice, forgiveness and wrongful incarceration spanning eight years of an innocent man’s life, Ronald Cotton's. Incarceration in itself is an experience that has a person come out either the better or the worse for it. In this story Ronald is truly an innocent victim of a flawed judicial system, wrongfully identified by a traumatized victim and, it seems, denied freedom in part based on the color of his skin. In spite of all that life has dealt him, Ronald initiates reconciliation with Jennifer, the victim who is ridden with guilt in the aftermath of definitive proof that she identified an innocent man as her offender.

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