Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Torn: Sixty Days of Calaboose by Tracy James Jones.
About the book: ~ A Fictional Memoir ~ (Contemporary Psychological LGBT Drama) Warning: Adult language, mild sexual situations. What could possibly go wrong for a sensitive effeminate male unexpectedly incarcerated in a room full of unpredictable strangers? For Adrian Bailey, just about everything, and in the midst of constant fear, lies, prejudice, and madness, he finds more… Under false pretenses, Adrian Bailey finds himself arrested and locked up in the local county jail for the first time in his life. Despite all the horror stories he had read or heard of concerning life behind bars, nothing was like the actual experience. Not only was he utterly devastated and confused over the situation he was unjustly thrown into, but also lost at the mercy of whatever actions that could or would be made against him, including prejudice from someone of his own race. As the madness of his experiences take control, he fears his only recourse is to succumb to whatever means necessary to survive. The traumatic events that occur thereafter would surpass everything Adrian thought he ever knew about real life. And then he finds what he never expected: an intense three-way love affair that would test every remaining fiber of his mental stability and then some. The love of one would only add to his mental deterioration, while his connection to the other would at some point give him peace. Worst of all, there wasn’t one thing he could do to stop any of it. Not one damn thing at all…
My review: This is one of the hardest books I’ve had to review, and that’s a good thing. The reason is it touches on so many levels that’s it’s hard to find a place to begin.
The story was well written and had a good flow. I thought the author did an excellent job of bring to life the jail where Adrian finds himself. More than that, it helped to shine a bright light on some of the mental issues people deal with when they either don’t have something to focus on or feel like they’ve been abandoned.
I’ve heard some of Adrian’s struggles of adapting from people I’ve met that have spent time in the system. One even said he tried never to leave his cell to avoid any problems. So often we forget about people once they disappear behind those walls or bars. We forget they are people just like us, with faults like ours, especially, when someone that’s innocent is forced to endure the drastic change to their life. It begs the age-old question as to how or what do we change about it?
I enjoyed the characters. They were an interesting assortment that we’ve all come across at some point in our lives. My personal favorite was Tees, mainly because he reminded me of a few people I’ve known that made things “interesting” at times, and not always in a good way. Lol
To be honest, I felt for Adrian, but I so wanted someone to smack him at times. To say he has an addictive personality is putting it mildly, but given the circumstances, it’s also understandable. He needed someone to fill the void he felt within his life. Still, some of his decision making was frustrating at times, but I loved his frustration at dealing with his significant other. I’ve shared those same thoughts about some women at times. Lol
Over all I really enjoyed the story and think the author did a phenomenal job with difficult subject material. Choosing to write in from Adrian’s perspective was the only way to do it, I think. It’s story telling on another level and well worth checking out if you’re looking for an interesting and informative read.