Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison.
That subtitle rings true throughout the entire book.
James White, Pumpkin, Jay. Only 19 years old and his life is about to change....
He knew he was going to prison the night he shot to kill. He knew his life was virtually over when he had just made a new one. He knew Brenda was going to raise their baby alone while he sat in a prison cell. His lawyer promised 10 years, but he was sentenced to 40 years behind bars.
He had been dealing crack and running around the 'hood since he was 14. He was shot at 17. He killed at 19. He never wanted this life, but what else could he do with a mommy that didn't want him and a daddy that was never around?
Prison took its toll on Jay. But he eventually found himself, more importantly he finally found the strength to forgive himself and apologize for what he had done. He needed closure, but that closure didn't find him until almost 10 years into his sentence. He was willing to change and for that, I applaud him. He didn't deserve this life, his family didn't deserve it, his victim didn't deserve it.
This memoir is told through alternating past and present. We see James become Jay. We see who Jay is in prison. We see the two personalities slowing merging into one. We see why he felt a certain way and why he reacted the way he did. He was part of a Brotherhood he felt the need to uphold. He wanted to mend the broken and feed the poor. He wanted everyone to be accepted within the laws of the jungle.
That is how he found himself.
Through his brothers.
Through his father.
Through Lil Jay.
For that, he will always be thankful.
Big shout out to Blogging for Books for sending me a copy of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison!