A review of the audiobook Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton, with Erin Torneo
Powerful, insightful, and shocking. Those are the three words I would choose
to describe this story told by two very brave individuals. Jennifer: who suffered the horror of rape at the hands of a stranger who broke into her apartment. Ronald: who was unjustly accused of the crime and who had to endure years in prison, all the while knowing he was innocent. The narrative goes back and forth between Jennifer and Ronald and as each story wastold I was kept spellbound. I listened to the book on CD and many times I didn’t want to leave my car, I just wanted to keep listening as the two excellent narrators swept me into Ronald and Jennifer’s story. I wanted to know how Jennifer was going to survive and what happened to her. I wondered if she would ever find love and happiness, and how she would react when the truth came out. I wanted to know how Ronald could bear being falsely accused and how he could endure prison life (especially when he figured out that the real rapist was in the very same jail!). And of course I wondered just exactly how the truth would come out. What was more amazing was the story of the power of forgiveness, acceptance and faith that emerged as Ron helped Jennifer work through her emotions after having had years to process his own with the help of his family and his faith in God. Another interesting side-light is the way this book will challenge your perceptions of eye-witness testimony and our legal system. I highly recommend this book–give it a listen or read today!