* I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review.
All expressed opinions are completely my own. There are affiliate links in this post. *
Stolen Years. Can you imagine?
Can you even begin to imagine losing much of your life because you were sent to prison?
Now think about it again. Can you imagine being sent to prison for something you did not do?
These are the stolen years Reuven Fenton writes about in this book.
Fenton shares the stories of ten former inmates. Ten individuals who were imprisoned and should not have been.
I can't begin to try to imagine it, let alone fully comprehend what it must be like to have lived it.
I'm honestly struggling with the right words to describe this book - because the stories themselves are what take you where you need to go. No disrespect intended to the writer, because it is his ability to reflect the voices of the individuals represented here and make them feel so real. Which, of course, they are. But reading this - it's the kind of thing that makes you want to say - no! Impossible! How could this be happening in our country?
And yet, look at the news stories that we see every other day.
Arrests. Trials. Murders. Suspects. Police officers. Interactions that wind up covered nationally for one reason or another. So so many.
And then? Look at the victims who are wrongfully accused.
How many are there? How would we even know? How can we tell?
It's incredible. And sad. And impossible - I don't know.
All I know is that the stories shared in this book? They're stories of people who have lived through this type of accusation. Suffered for it. And then returned home to their new, but old lives.
So much pain. So much loss. So much for them to go through.
For no real reasons at all.
Of course, the reasons often appeared to be there. I'm not saying they didn't. But whether it was errors, mistakes in judgment, lies, evidence - whatever it was? The reasons were wrong.
These people were innocent.
And yet - this book - despite the pain shared - this book shows us a little bit more.
Stolen Years shares moments of gratitude. Of individuals who found new ways in prison. Who left jail and came home changed for the better.
Stolen Years shares stories of hope. Not as much hope as I would like to see - but the hope that comes from a person being set free after being locked up? There is hope there, however small.
And more than anything Stolen Years tells us - smacks us directly in the face - with the issues that our society experiences - the flaws in our justice system.
This book is a powerful read. I will forewarn you that it's not your light holiday reading, or a book that you might want to take on vacation - but it is powerful.