Books provide escapes
A book club is providing an escape for inmates at Arohata Prison.
The club meets monthly and, not surprisingly, has an everchanging mix of members.
The women who meet around the table are there voluntarily, taking time out from their jobs in the laundry or kitchen.
One inmate said the club was a way to escape.
‘I can read a book and be transported anywhere in the world,’’ she said.
‘‘Sometimes I can feel the sun or the rain when I’m reading about it.’’
The book club members read a book a month and meet to discuss it. Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, received unanimous praise from members, but other books haven’t been so lucky.
Blue Asylum, by Hepinstall, was panned.
One prisoner said the book club would love to receive donations of all genres, but particularly wanted more challenging reads.
‘‘General fiction is always popular, but there are some vicarious readers in here who would love a challenge.’’
The women are on lockdown between 15 and 17 hours a day.
‘‘There’s nothing else to do but read.’’
Another woman said she joined the club for its discussions as well as the chance to read new books. Kathy