Friday, September 17, 2010

Picking Cotton: Race-laden divisions and forgiveness

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and RedemptionPicking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading the much denser new Wally Lamb novel, this was quite a departure. This book is about a young white woman (Jennifer Thompson-Cannino) who was brutally raped at knifepoint. Her convincing eyewitness testimony put an African-American man (Ronald Cotton, her coauthor) behind bars for life plus 50 years, based solely on her testimony, even though he was innocent.

When DNA testing became available, Ronald Cotton was finally exonerated and set free. The amazing part of their story is that Cotton and Thompson-Cannino not only met each other, but also became close friends and go on the speaking circuit together.

The book is simply written--it's not Wally Lamb--but it's a beautiful story of race-laden divisions, forgiveness, redemption, and grace.

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