Orange is the new black has taken the World by storm over the past couple of years, its popularity soaring since Netflix premiered all its episodes.
The series was inspired and based upon the life story of Piper Kerman, who wrote a book, also titled ‘Orange is the new black: my time in a women’s prison’ which explains her life before, during and after her spell in prison. I’ve been reading the New York Times bestseller and here are my thoughts.
I love the brutal honesty portrayed by Kerman, her honest opinions of how she felt going into prison as a more well-off and educated prisoner. For those who have watched the series and not read the book, or the other way around, there are some great differences between the two to be explored (no spoilers.)
#11187-424 explains how her prison character was so hugely different to those of the ’eminemlettes’ or the ‘Spanish mamis’ that does nothing but make you more intrigued into her life story and how a crime that seemed a distant memory had finally caught up to her and it was time to pay the price. Although, Piper Kerman coped well during her time in the federal facility of Danbury (Litchfield for the Netlfix watchers) according to her version of the story, which I think may shock some readers. This, along with other decisions she makes as you read on, show not only the true grit and determination it sometimes may have taken Kerman to make it through the day, but also the easier times and the fun times that she encountered too.
Her story has a good balance, depicting the harsh reality of her time in prison through her good times and bad times. Her descriptions are a real eye-opener and work well into making the reader build up their visual of what life in Danbury must have looked and felt like. Her representation of her fellow inmates do just the same, giving the reader the sense of who was friendly, who they like and who they are not so fond of.
I would recommend this book to anyone, there is no way of imagining what life in prison is really like unless you have been there or if you can see it in the eyes of someone who has experienced it, and I think this is just what this book provides. Similarly, the Netflix series also backs up the visual ideas which are built up through reading the book. Although the series changes things slightly, adds characters and a few storylines, this may alter peoples opinions, but is certainly also worth watching.
Very intriguing, very interesting, very honest.