Customer Reviews for

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Thanks for sharing Jennifer and Ron...it teaches us how to forgive and love.

I found this story so inspiring at a time that we are all struggling for a reason that our world is in such disarray. It shows how very sensitive a rape can be and what can be done to overcome a judgement gone wrong. Truly goes deep into one's thoughts and emotions.

posted by 1158129 on March 27, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Interesting story, but Poorly written

"Picking Cotton" is an absorbing story of a man that is wrongly convicted, mostly by eyewitness account, of the rape of a young woman. Write in first person back and forth between the victim and the "suspect," it gives an interesting firsthand account of how each was de...
"Picking Cotton" is an absorbing story of a man that is wrongly convicted, mostly by eyewitness account, of the rape of a young woman. Write in first person back and forth between the victim and the "suspect," it gives an interesting firsthand account of how each was dealing with the situation as it unfolded. I enjoyed reading the women's point of view and how she had to learn to forgive.
I did not, however, think the book was well written. There were some awkward points where things were left unexplained and something that was seemingly unimportant to the story was talked about. I thought the editing could have been better and that's why I gave the book a 3 star rating.
I've read a lot of Innocence Project books but this one you actually get to hear the accounts from each person. I'm glad that, at least, this story had a happy ending.

posted by 3338910 on April 13, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Thanks for sharing Jennifer and Ron...it teaches us how to forgive and love.

    I found this story so inspiring at a time that we are all struggling for a reason that our world is in such disarray. It shows how very sensitive a rape can be and what can be done to overcome a judgement gone wrong. Truly goes deep into one's thoughts and emotions.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Easy read/ emotionally touching!

    Feel the emotions of both sides of the story. Feel the consequences of how what you say , can affect others. Learn how forgiveness can improve your life and the lives of those around you. A sad and heartwarming story full of love, in one. Inspiring!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Loved This Book...

    No need to say much about Picking Cotton except that I think everyone ought to read it. Powerful message of forgiveness.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    can you believe what you see?

    I purchased this book because I saw Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton interviewed about how their lives became intertwined forever.
    Any woman who ever thought about how she would deal with being raped likely believes she would remember that man's face forever. Because of many factors, Jennifer believed she had identified the right man only to find after two trials and eleven years passed that she was wrong.
    What was so amazing about this story is that Ronald Cotton was able to accept Jennifer's apology and that she was brave enough to offer it. I can't imagine the kind of heart it would take to forgive someone for taking eleven years of your life. Both Jennifer and Ronald were the victims of the same man....the one who raped Jennifer and the one who allowed Ronald to spend eleven years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was able to blame the real perpetrator and not Jennifer for his incarceration. It's just an amazing and uplifting story.
    If you are a believer in capital punishment this is a story you need to read. We certainly are finding, with the advances in DNA testing, that there are innocent people....especially black men, who are locked up or executed for crimes they did not commit.
    My heart goes out to both of these victims. Jennifer and Ronald will never be the same, but they have certainly shown how forgiveness can change lives.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Pick it up!

    Picking Cotton...it is a great story of forgiveness and not letting your circumstances be your fall. We all have something to learn from Ronald Cotton and his story of grace of mercy. How in the most horrible of situations he never gave up hope that the LORD would see him through, and that he was innocent. Eleven years of his life was taking from him, but after it was all over, he looked to God for His purpose in it all. And teaches each reader how to forgive the way our LORD so gracefully did for us! As a woman, I will not lie, at parts it was very difficult to read, through are some disturbing parts, but still a good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    Close to home

    To preface my review - I had just started working at Burlington Times-News the summer Ronald Cotton was finally set free and was in the middle of the unfolding drama. I grew up 15 miles from the Brookwood Condos but was a child at the time of the rape and trials. So the book is a mix of "ooh, I remember that" and "heh, I don't remember that." The park that Ronald and Jennifer are in at the start of the book is in the neighborhood of my childhood home. So, that said, this book hits really close to home. And doubtless, that colors my perception of this book.

    I did really enjoy the back and forth his and her viewpoints. And their voices do come through loud and clear - Jennifer is a young and innocent girl forced to deal with some very harsh realities and how that changed her. Ronald is a good soul who suffers horrible injustice but his soul isn't changed. Their descriptions of the places and people are spot-on with my viewpoints, and I think that they do a very eloquent job of bringing the reader into that place at that time.

    While the book is about the harsh realities of racism, revenge and remorse - it also brings with it a good dose of hope that while wrongs may be done in the past we can rise above them and find an inner peace and forgiveness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Rdrdrftfygi

    Good book

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Two Sides of the Story

    Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton is co-authored by a victim of rape and the man who was falsely accused of the crime, with the assistance of writer Erin Torneo. The format alternates from Jennifer's to Ronald's perspectives and the story reads like a documentary. Picking Cotton opens with a "happily ever after" prologue that took decades to reach. The interim was an excruciating journey of mistakes and misery. Within the story, there are racial issues to explore, as well as pros and cons in the criminal justice system. The story starts with Jennifer's point of view. After briefly establishing her routines and relationships for the readers, we see how her college life is immeasurably altered when she is raped. Jennifer endures the examination at the hospital; she has to repeatedly tell the details to detectives; she faces the disengaged attitudes of her family and boyfriend. In these relationships, the reader sees a victim-blaming society in action: Jennifer's mother wonders if what she wore had something to do with being attacked; Jennifer's boyfriend asks her if she enjoyed it. Jennifer courageously moves through the legal system, and eventually moves on. On the local news, Ronald sees that the police are searching for him as a suspect. Only twenty-two years old, his simple life becomes immeasurably complicated when he is arrested. He is treated as though he were already found guilty. Ronald is equally courageous as he moves through a legal system that is out to get him, no matter what. Ronald spends more than a decade in prison, acclimating to the dismal culture of those incarcerated for life. He is guilty until DNA proves him innocent. He has to start over. This book needed to be written so that readers witness the capacity of human will, the fate from human error, and the resiliency of spirit from both sides of the story.

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    Great read

    This was a great read about life--the trauma, survival, and at times forgiveness. If these two people can be friends after all they have experienced, then there is hope for all of us.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    awesome

    worth reading.

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  • Posted November 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    Really enjoyed this book. So great to see how Cotton could overcome such obstacles and succeed in life.

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  • Posted June 24, 2010

    Picking Cotton

    This was a very enlightening read. Any reader will be in shock of our justice system and in awe of the forgiving nature of both people in the main story. All lawyers, judges, and policemen should read this true story!

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Great story of redemption and forgiveness and the power of DNA testing

    I read this true story straight through. The authors' journey to forgiveness (of others and of themselves) is astounding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    Well Worth Reading

    Definately a well written story worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    Picking Cotton

    I am a criminal defense lawyer and found this story, although not previously unheard of, quite moving. The personal stories of both the victim and the accused/convicted flowed together well. It was especially interesting to read of the victim's self-examination and the process of reconciliation that she went through.

    Although not a particularly cerebral read, Picking Cotton is a provocative story that should be read and discussed.

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    Posted July 20, 2011

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