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Reviewed by Joanne Ang for Readers' Favorite
My Incarcerated Life by Qiana Riley-Jones is her autobiography as a prison wife. Raised in an environment with rising drug use and violence, she came across a drug dealer called Vandrick. There, their relationship started off with flings to fill their time and desire for each other, but that came with consequences. Soon a baby was on the way and, as the years went by, Vandrick was found guilty and was sent behind bars for years. Qiana’s life was falling apart before her eyes. How could she be there as a wife? How could she protect her children from the harsh world at such a young age? Nothing is easy in life, but Qiana will show you how she weathered life’s harshest storms in her darkest moments.
The beginning of My Incarcerated Life is written in the third-person point of view, making the personal account flow like a novel, which was seamlessly done. The intimacy of Qiana Riley-Jones’s life experience was also done wonderfully, even with the simple and straight-to-the-point writing style. I loved that the author went back to the very beginning of her and Vandrick’s relationship, showing the good and bad sides to it, and laying a foundation for readers to understand their relationship and its development more thoroughly. I appreciate that the author also shared her time in the military, showing how she adapted to her environment and her personal experiences, despite the things that she was going through at home. This is a daring and touching autobiography that is not for the faint of heart. Yet, the author’s bravery and resilience to show that she will not be broken despite her circumstances is extremely inspiring for those in a similar situation.