Imprisoned in the Veritas Unit of the Fort Worth Federal Correctional Institution, Cynthia Mitchell is undergoing psychiatric evaluation to determine whether she is competent to stand trial for the murder of her husand. From the inside out, we watch as Cynthia endures the humiliation of prison life and reveals through a series of deeply disturbing flashbacks the escalating brutality of her marriage.
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Wozencraft's stint as a narc inspired her raggedly vital Rush (1990)--and, like Rush's heroine, she wound up her cop-career by perjuring herself into a federal pen. Behind bars, withdrawing from Valium addiction, Wozencraft was sent to a women's psychiatric unit: the bleak setting for this second novel--more controlled than Rush but far less daring--about a woman awaiting trial for killing her abusive husband. Narrator Cynthia Mitchell, 39, is undergoing evaluation in the Fort Worth federal prison to see whether she's competent to stand trial for fatally stabbing her pilot husband Daniel. But we don't learn that for a while, as Cynthia concentrates first on describing her prison life: her job threading handles into mailbags; her sessions with a male prison psychiatrist; her exchanges with a crew of properly picturesque inmates--a wise Cuban, a tough Jew, a poetry-loving African-American, and a woman who dances with scarves. Slowly, amid dramas that include a suicide attempt and Cynthia's own nervous breakdown--leading to three weeks in isolation in ``the white room''--Cynthia's past seeps in: Child of an abusive dad and passive mom, she repeated her mother's mistake by marrying a white knight with tarnished armor. Daniel began smacking Cynthia soon after the marriage--abuse that escalated until she cut him as he slept: ``His skin needed the blade. I let him go. I survived.'' Cynthia survives again when, after she's found competent and is put on trial, she perjures herself by claiming that she killed Daniel as he choked her--a statement followed immediately by an expert witness's long explanation of why battered women stay with abusive men. The jury deliberates; justice triumphs. Cynthia and her plight ring true, but this is p.c. fiction- -polemic disguised as story--and, however compassionate and carefully drawn, about as subtle as Uncle Tom's Cabin. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Wozencraft follows her gritty portrayal of drug addiction in Rush with a compelling, poignant narrative dealing with another kind of fractured dream. By slow degrees, this novel picks apart the broken promises, blows and threats that led a battered woman to kill her husband. While waiting for the state to determine whether she is competent to stand trial, Cynthia Mitchell is incarcerated in the women's psychiatric ward of the Forth Worth Federal Correctional Institution--"a country club, compared to most," says the prison shrink. Among the inmates, there's Coffee, who belts out defiant odes to violent robbery; Herlinda, the mystically inclined leader of a Cuban faction; brassy Nina, doing time for "paperhanging" (check forging), who squirrels away forbidden gum, pills and razor blades. The large and small humiliations of prison echo those that trapped Cynthia into the violent marriage that brought her to Texas, severing her ties to friends and a career in New York. Cynthia's fellow inmates are generally caring and sympathetic--sometimes almost incredibly so. Wozencraft deals more disturbingly with the physical injuries and betrayals that paved Cynthia's road to prison. Sharp imagery and a surefooted sense of place makes a hot, dusty Texas wind blow off these pages. Movie rights to Demi Moore/Propaganda Films; major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, LIKE NEW, NOT EX-LIBRARY, COVER MARK, 205 pages. (From the author of Rush comes this account of a woman enduring the humiliations of prison life and psychiatric evaluation to determine whether she is fit to stand trial for the murder of her husband. In a series of flashbacks she relives the escalating brutality of her marriage). book. Bookseller Inventory # 4458
Book Description Trafalgar Square. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0099425211 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0958308
Book Description Trafalgar Square, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099425211