When I Get Free
by Cheryl Robinson
Category: Fiction / Crime
312 pages; ISBN: 0972086714
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
When I Get Free
Sterling, 2003, $14.00, 312 pp.
After spending a decade as a guest of the Oklahoma correctional system, former convict Theodore “Tower” Evans tries to go straight. Now finally free Tower struggles to also liberate his mind, which still remains behind bars. Though his mom and step-dad try to help him adjust, he remains mentally a jailbird and much of the society he meets and deals with constantly remind him of his status whether it is his parole officer, the church, or the job he lost.
Just as things turn bleakest, Tower finds hope when he meets wannabe author Gail. They forge a tentative friendly relationship when he tells her his story. Both gain confidence from his relating his feelings and experiences but will it be enough for him to take back his spirit in the land of the free except for those like him.
WHEN I GET FREE is a stunning character study (based on a real person) that will open plenty of eyes to the American “rehabilitation” system that leaves a former convict still mentally shackled long after his or her release. The insightful novel also implies that law abiding citizens unknowingly are incarcerated in cleverly constructed “frames”. However, Tower is obviously the center of the deep story line, but key secondary players come across genuine at least in terms of their relationships with the lead protagonist. Readers will root for Tower to make it preferably with Gail as he fights to regain control of his life now that he has paid his debt to society
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