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Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and…
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Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino

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From Amazon.com:
A New York Times Bestseller
Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken-- but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face-- and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives.
In their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness. ( )
  WayCriminalJustice | Apr 5, 2016 |
Incredible story. Amazing people. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  cjservis | Jan 17, 2016 |
This review is for the audiobook version. 4 stars story - 4 stars narration.

The story was very moving. I struggled with Jennifer initially... I think it had more to do with the narrator and less to do with the story. I was a bit worried that something was wrong with me that I was having trouble connecting with her. I finally connected with her once I started hearing Ronald Cotton tell his story. I really, really connected with him and felt more for him.... I felt he was victimized more that Jennifer ever could be (That may be really terrible for me to say, but it's the truth). I felt the court system wronged him in so many ways, yet he was never bitter. He just kept proclaiming his innocence in hopes that someday it could be proven. 11 years is a long time to spend in jail for a crime you didn't commit.
Jennifer struggled a long time with overcoming a rape in her own home... then the guilt of putting the wrong man behind bars. She was finally able to forgive, be forgiven and then to move on in her life. She has since gone on to do wonderful things. I'm so happy that Ronald and Jennifer could forgive each other and even become great friends.

As for the narration.... I struggled with the female narrator. Some narrators do this "breathy hitch" in their voice that just sounds so very unnatural and becomes very prominent the more you listen to them. This narrator was like that... and to me she sounded very mechanical and monotone. So... it's why I think I had a hard time connecting. Thankfully the majority of the book was narrated by a male narrator that did an OUTSTANDING job. His narration was superb and brought tears to my eyes on a few occasions. He had a very deep, smooth voice that was bursting with emotion and I didn't want him to stop talking.

( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
This review is for the audiobook version. 4 stars story - 4 stars narration.

The story was very moving. I struggled with Jennifer initially... I think it had more to do with the narrator and less to do with the story. I was a bit worried that something was wrong with me that I was having trouble connecting with her. I finally connected with her once I started hearing Ronald Cotton tell his story. I really, really connected with him and felt more for him.... I felt he was victimized more that Jennifer ever could be (That may be really terrible for me to say, but it's the truth). I felt the court system wronged him in so many ways, yet he was never bitter. He just kept proclaiming his innocence in hopes that someday it could be proven. 11 years is a long time to spend in jail for a crime you didn't commit.
Jennifer struggled a long time with overcoming a rape in her own home... then the guilt of putting the wrong man behind bars. She was finally able to forgive, be forgiven and then to move on in her life. She has since gone on to do wonderful things. I'm so happy that Ronald and Jennifer could forgive each other and even become great friends.

As for the narration.... I struggled with the female narrator. Some narrators do this "breathy hitch" in their voice that just sounds so very unnatural and becomes very prominent the more you listen to them. This narrator was like that... and to me she sounded very mechanical and monotone. So... it's why I think I had a hard time connecting. Thankfully the majority of the book was narrated by a male narrator that did an OUTSTANDING job. His narration was superb and brought tears to my eyes on a few occasions. He had a very deep, smooth voice that was bursting with emotion and I didn't want him to stop talking.

( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
Picking Cotton begins from the point of view of a woman who is raped at knifepoint by a stranger who has broken into her apartment. She identifies her attacker from a police lineup and he is sentenced to life in prison. He swears he is innocent. After spending eleven years in prison he is exonerated on DNA evidence. The woman identified the wrong man.

I am really amazed by the authors of this book. Their emotional strength and capacity for forgiveness is unreal. The woman and the man she accused become friends and go on speaking tours together about issues surrounding the criminal justice system. To forgive someone who sent you to prison for eleven years is unreal. To have the courage to survive rape, deal with the guilt of accusing the wrong person, and ask his forgiveness is inspiring.

It is an amazing story but the writing is clumsy at times. I heard an interview with the authors on NPR and I like their speaking much better than the writing. Still a good read. 3.5 stars. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
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Ronald Cotton stands a few rows behind Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, watching as she cranes her head trough the crowd, looking for him among the faces of the parents who have come out to watch their children play soccer.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312376537, Hardcover)

Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken-- but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face-- and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives.

In their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The story behind the unlikely friendship which developed between the accused rapist Ronald Cotton--who served eleven years in prison for a crime he didn't commit--and his accuser, Jennifer Thompson, raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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