Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review of 'On the Inside' by Kim Cano


When Kristen is sentenced to seventeen years for committing a white collar crime, she’s forced to leave her husband and two sons behind.

Life in prison is a shock. She discovers that people aren’t always what they seem, love wears many faces, and friendship can make life worth living. 

But as she struggles to survive on the inside, Kristen must face something even more frightening than her fellow inmates. . . herself.

**Rave reviews!**

5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful story of love, hardship, devotion, sorrow, and forgiveness December 10, 2013

By Clare Chu

Kristen is the main character. She's in jail for bilking her employer out of a huge sum of money. In the process, she lost the trust of her husband and children and virtually bankrupted them. They are bitter and wary of her, but she continues to send letters to her husband telling him how sorry she is. The only family member to write back is her sister-in-law, Olivia, who extends a lifeline to her with family pictures and events. 
We also meet an array of colorful characters from the flashy inmate, Lupe, to the prison psychiatrist, Megan, the warden, Laura, Kristen's antagonist, Jess, and many others. Each person has their story, their trials, and triumphs, and you'll find yourself rooting for all of them.
Ms. Cano expertly weaves in multiple points of view to make you understand and empathize with all of these people. Each has his or her own pain and sorrow as well as aspirations for a better future. Necessarily, some of the stories end tragically whereas others move on as best they can. But Kristen and the others learn to take happiness in small places and to accept what can't be changed.

 **My thoughts**

A story about inmates isn't necessarily one I am going to run for at the store. Yet, I decided to give this one a chance. I also wouldn't normally want to root for a criminal heroine, yet you find yourself really liking these women. Yes, they have done horrible things. Some of them are probably beyond help. Most of them are truly sorry for the wrongs that they have caused and are doing what they can to fix themselves. They still love and crave love. They still long for happiness in the midst of despair. Some are able to move forward. Some will never make it out alive.

The women who work with these inmates also have a lot of issues to deal with. It isn't always the safest job in the world. It can be quite rewarding, yet also extremely frustrating. It is fascinating, yet almost horrifying at the same time.

Kim Cano treats her characters with respect and honesty. Their story is intriguing.

Buy it on Amazon


Kim Cano is the author of For Animal Lovers, a short story collection for kids ages 9 to 12. It also appeals to adult readers who are young at heart. 10% of the sale price is donated to the ASPCA® to help homeless pets.

A Widow Redefined is Kim's debut women’s fiction novel. It's a story of a young woman's journey through grief and the transformational power of friendship.

Kim has also written Dogschwitz. A novella about Rory, the dog that cheated death. It’s been described as “a little book with a huge impact.”

Kim is an animal activist and lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and cat.



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