it’s been awhile since I’ve written about a book. mostly because this summer has been full of reading short stories to teach out of & lots of handouts about teaching English. but Picking Cotton came to me via mail (half price, thanks to amazon used books) & I devoured it in the span of a few days. I even skipped an afternoon bus nap to finish it… & around here, that means a book is really good.
I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t say anything that’s not on the back cover. Picking Cotton is the true story of a women that is brutally raped and the man she mistakenly identifies as her rapist… the man who spends eleven years in prison because of that mistake. both of the protagonists are victims in very different ways.
rape is one of those things in life that, honestly, it’s hard for me to see any kind of cosmic purpose in. it’s difficult to imagine what coming back from it looks like–but the female protagonist does just that, with the kind of grace & spirit that gives me a lot of hope. the last few chapters of this book were one of the best pictures I’ve recently seen of love in the face of hate, forgiveness instead of bitterness.
this was a meaningful book. it’s a fascinating look into certain aspects of the justice system; it’s very well written. but its most powerful message is, to quote Bono, “grace makes beauty out of ugly things.” I finished Picking Cotton reminded that, while there is a lot lot of terrible darkness in the world, it will always be beaten back by light. worth skipping that bus nap for sure.
p.s. feliz cumpleanos to David!
& welcome back to ‘merica. : )