It wasn’t my plan, but I spent the entire day yesterday reading a most amazing book – Miss Brenda and the Loveladies by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell.
As the subtitle reads… “One woman’s brush with prison… A community of women fighting the odds for survival on the outside…”
Some years back in another life, I had a family member end up in prison after being convicted of murdering her sister. She ended up in prison at the young age of 18. Scroll forward 15+ years… unable to cope with the free world, with no skills and no one to give a second chance to a murderer… and then wondering why she ended up back in prison??
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this 18-year-old should not have gone to prison. OH YES… in my opinion she definitely should have gone to prison. AND should have never been able to get out. What I am saying though is that I can see where the women in the book are coming from. Now, my family members life is not even close to the hideous hell these women survived as young children and there was no excuse for her doing what she did. With the institutionalization and lack of rehabilitation, it’s no wonder that the recidivism rate is so high.
I am not some bleeding heart liberal that feels that everyone deserves a second, third, forth, … fifteenth chance. NO. As the saying goes, you do the crime, you do the time. There are rules in society and they are not meant to be broken. You break them, you go away.
However, when you read the stories of the seven Loveladies, you begin to say to yourself… but the rules in their lives were broken on them. They did not live in a society that had any semblance of rules. They lived in despicable despair… fighting just to stay alive for that day. No child should have to endure that. And we wonder how are they supposed to just survive… forget about thriving and becoming a contributing member of society.
But this book turns it all upside down when this one woman – Brenda Spahn – listened to her calling from the Lord and took on the system and began with these seven ladies to bring hope and healing and redemption to their truly broken lives.
You do not want to miss reading this book. Trust me when I say that these stories will stay with you.
As always, I am required to review the books I receive, below is the link to that review and a link to purchase the book.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“For Brenda Spahn, entrepreneur and business woman, wealth was a lifestyle – until a brush with the law threatened to send her to prison. In those dark moments, Brenda made a promise to God. This is the story of Brenda’s journey from rags to riches to redemption. It’s the story of the first unlikely year of her “whole-way” house and of the extraordinary lives of the first seven women who came to call her Miss Brenda. It’s a story that testifies to the power of faith and how God changes hearts every day.”
Do not miss reading this book. This is an amazing true story captured me from the first page… and when I turned the last page, I wanted more. I wish that I could give it six stars.
In Miss Brenda and the Loveladies, we are given a small glimpse inside the head and heart of seven women that have been incarcerated for most of their lives. Miss Brenda sets out to “save” these ladies… thereby keeping her promise to God for saving her from going to prison. What happens is that while she is intent on saving them, they end up saving her. Suddenly they go from one of the worst women’s prisons in the US to a mansion on the hill with some “crazy white lady”. The stories about the “white drawers” and “flaming fajita’s” are just the tip of it all. While they are crazy funny stories that made me laugh out loud, they are a sad commentary about this lives these women lived and the future they could have expected had they not met Miss Brenda.
There are parts of this book that made me laugh, made me cry, got me angry, made me smile in delight. It is truly a blessing.
Be forewarned… there are parts to this story that are NOT for the faint of heart. There are personal accounts of drug use, sexual abuse, rape, physical and sexual abuse of children, extreme violence as well as some “colorful” language. Some may think it not necessary… but in my opinion you need to hear the stories of the lives of the Loveladies to understand and appreciate the full impact of this story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa… : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
*Reviews of this book were posted at the following locations:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Deeper Shopping and Goodreads,