Mar 25

On the Inside by Kim Cano

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I was given a copy of this book as part of my involvement with Beck Valley Books. All thoughts are my own.

On the InsideWhen Kristen is sentenced to seventeen years for committing a white collar crime, she’s forced to leave her husband and two sons behind.

Life in prison is a shock. She discovers that people aren’t always what they seem, love wears many faces, and friendship can make life worth living.

But as she struggles to survive on the inside, Kristen must face something even more frightening than her fellow inmates. . . herself.

On the Inside is based on true events, written from the authors own family tragedy.

Review for On The Inside…..

This book will hook you from the very first paragraph, as you meet Lakeisha, a mail scanner for a women’s prison. She reads the prisoner’s correspondence, checks it for drugs and dangerous devices, and delivers the mail.Lakeisha is drawn into the correspondence Kristen has with her husband. And in this way, the reader is also drawn into the story about life inside a correctional facility for women.  Kristen is the main character. She’s in jail for bilking her employer out of a huge sum of money. In the process, she lost the trust of her husband and children and virtually bankrupted them. They are bitter and wary of her, but she continues to send letters to her husband telling him how sorry she is. The only family member to write back is her sister-in-law, Olivia, who extends a lifeline to her with family pictures and events.We also meet a panoply of colorful characters from the flashy inmate, Lupe, to the prison psychiatrist, Megan, the warden, Laura, Kristen’s antagonist, Jess, and many others. Each person has their story, their trials, and triumphs, and you’ll find yourself rooting for all of them.

Ms. Cano expertly weaves in multiple points of view to make you understand and empathize with all of these people. Each has his or her own pain and sorrow as well as aspirations for a better future. Necessarily, some of the stories end tragically whereas others move on as best they can. But Kristen and the others learn to take happiness in small places and to accept what can’t be changed.

The story is uplifting and poignant. You won’t want to miss this. I read this in a single evening because I not just wanted to find out what happened to the characters, but I felt for them and laughed and cried and wished so much for them to be victorious in their lives.

Everything was resolved and there were no loose ends. Even though there was sadness leavened into the book, the overall message is joyful and shows the power of love, devotion, and forgiveness. You won’t be disappointed with this wonderful story. ~ Clare Chu


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My review:
After having gotten caught up in watching Oz and Orange is the New Black, I was very excited to be offered the option to read a book about life in women’s prison.  On the Inside did not disappoint me and told a captivating story that kept me interested until the very end.
I have always heard about the term “gay for the stay” and wondered how many women did succumb to loneliness and engage in relationships with other women, even if they had identified as heterosexual while not in prison.  While I realize this book is not non-fiction, it definitely gives a glimpse into the thoughts, hopes and struggles of incarcerated women.
I really expected a number of the women’s stories to end differently.  As I read along, I was thinking A would happen, but Cano put a few little twists in there to surprise me.  It was nothing ovewhelming but something I didn’t expect, in a good way.
As I said before, I enjoyed On the Inside and will be looking for more of Cano’s books.  I think she balanced out the good and sad endings of various prisoners nicely.  I especially appreciated learning about the staff and how their time working at the prison and with the inmates affected them.


About the Author
Kim Cano debut novel was A Widow Redefined, which tells the story of a young woman’s journey through grief and the transformational power of friendship.

Kim has also written two animal books: For Animal Lovers, a short story collection for kids ages 9 to 12 (also appeals to adult readers who are young at heart) 10% of the sale price is donated to the ASPCA® to help homeless pets.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


2 LUCKY WINNERS !! 1 Winner will receive $20 Amazon Giftcard – Open Worldwide  1 Winner will receive a Signed Book from the author – Open US/CA


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  1. 12
    marnie ward

    I would miss my family and my dogs and my most of all my freedom.

  2. 11
    MARIA simon


  3. 10
    Victoria Dattilo

    being able to do whatever I want whenever I want and I would miss outside and my family

  4. 9
    ashley poteet

    My son

  5. 8
    Tanya Gaunt

    My family

  6. 7
    robyn donnelly

    The privacy would be the most missing element.

  7. 6

    Internet connection. I am addicted to the internet.

  8. 5
    Linda Kish

    I would miss my freedom!

  9. 4
    Lisa Ehrman

    Being able to do what I want to do.

  10. 3
    Angie D

    I would miss my family, friends and pets the most…

  11. 2
    Kim Cano

    Thanks for the lovely review. So glad you liked the book.

  12. 1
    sharon martin

    I absolutely loved this read, cannot wait to read another one of the author’s books xx

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