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Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite
Escape From A Territorial Penitentiary by Raymond Cook is a Western novel that would appeal most to an audience made up of adults who do not mind erotic content and non-consensual sexual relationships. Frank and Martha Hoosier traveled from Illinois to Rock Springs, Wyoming in the early 1900s with the dream of owning their own land. However, that dream quickly becomes a nightmare when Frank dies and Martha finds herself kicked off the ranch she and her husband were living on. Martha managed to live off her bank account for a few months until her savings ran out and she found herself forced to turn to crime in order to eat. When Martha’s attempted mugging quickly turns to murder, she finds herself sentenced to the Territorial Penitentiary where women are regularly raped and beaten. Will Martha manage to survive her imprisonment long enough to escape or will she lose her desire to live?
Escape From A Territorial Penitentiary by Raymond Cook is a well-written book filled with historically accurate information about the time period of the book, color pictures, and realistic characters. I found Martha and Elizabeth to be my favorite characters in that Martha was willing to fight against those that harmed her and the other women in the prison. I liked Elizabeth because she was the support that Martha needed and she seemed to have a sort of inner strength to her. I found parts of the book to be rather horrifying such as when the female prisoners were being abused, and how Martha had to choose between being raped by only the warden or being raped consistently by all the guards. However, I liked the way that the author did not go into too much detail for most of the rapes and I felt that the content was written as tastefully as possible on such a distasteful topic. Overall, I did enjoy this book and I greatly enjoyed seeing Martha grow as a character throughout the story!