Like so many women before her and so many women yet to come, Donna Hylton's early life was a nightmare of abuse that left her feeling alone and convinced of her worthlessness. In 1986, she took part in a horrific act and was sentenced to 25 years to life for kidnapping and second-degree murder. It seemed that Donna had reached the end--at age 19, due to her own mistakes and bad choices, her life was over.
A Little Piece of Light tells the heartfelt, often harrowing tale of Donna's journey back to life as she faced the truth about the crime that locked her away for 27 years...and celebrated the family she found inside prison that ultimately saved her. Behind the bars of Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, alongside this generation's most infamous criminals, Donna learned to fight, then thrive. For the first time in her life, she realized she was not alone in the abuse and misogyny she experienced--and she was also not alone in fighting back.
Since her release in 2012, Donna has emerged as a leading advocate for criminal justice reform and women's rights who speaks to politicians, violent abusers, prison officials, victims, and students to tell her story. But it's not her story alone, she is quick to say. She also represents the stories of thousands of women who have been unable to speak for themselves, until now.
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About the Author
Kristine Gasbarre is a celebrity interviewer and a culture and lifestyle contributor to women's print and digital publications. A graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland and Fordham University in New York City, she holds degrees in psychology and media studies, and she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Table of Contents
Foreword Eve Ensler ix
Chapter 1 The Prisoner of Boynton Avenue 1
Chapter 2 Golden Child 34
Chapter 3 Two Birds in a Cage 67
Chapter 4 Inmate #86G0206 127
Chapter 5 Jail Sisters 136
Chapter 6 Agents of Change 147
Chapter 7 Mother Mary and the End of Violence 157
Chapter 8 An Education 171
Chapter 9 Daughters and a Circle of Abuse 178
Chapter 10 Finding Our Voices 188
Chapter 11 Changing Minds, Changing Lives 201
Chapter 12 Women's Search for Meaning 216
Chapter 13 Carrying the Torch 232
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The first half of this book is a very intense. The things that Hylton went through early on in her life are devastating and infuriating. Some of the events she describes in her memoir are so vivid that even thinking about them causes me to physically ache. Hylton writes in a way that that makes her story very real. Yet it seems like fiction because it's hard to believe that one person has been through everything she has and was able to come out on the other end with a positive view of life. The chapters after she enters the prison system are slightly less uncomfortable, but just as impactful. There is one chapter that I feel doesn’t have a place in the book. It goes off into the realm of the supernatural as far as religion goes, and it doesn’t serve a purpose in the overall message of the memoir. Hylyon is an incredible human being that fights for the rights of women especially those who’s voices are stamped out by society on a daily basis. This book proves that there is such a thing as being a victim of your circumstances, but, with the support and empathy of the more fortunate, change can happen. This is a must read. Especially for those privileged enough to believe there is no societal disparity between men and women. Trigger warnings for pedophilia, rape, kidnapping, and torture.
Wow, the story of Donna Hylton's life in her own words is powerful and touching. I saw so much of my own life in her story. Donna Hylton keep telling your own truth....
Moving truth... A powerful story.. A must read... Nuff said.