From my list on the power of redemption.
Who am I?
Having spent a total of 7 years in 12 UK prisons (and 6 in the USA), I encountered so many people from all walks of life who found themselves in custody. What they all generally had in common was a desire to seek betterment – redemption – for even the repeat offenders never hoped to see the inside of another jail again. It can be a soul-destroying, depressing place, often ruthless, but also serves as a forge to draw out the perseverance and will to keep going. After leaving prison, I went on to set up a social enterprise, received a commendation from then Prince Charles, and support the daily operations of a charity (Arkbound).
Stephen's book list on the power of redemption
Why did Stephen love this book?
Another classic, and quite possibly my favorite. It has been dramatised many times, though nothing beats the full novel.
Admittedly with a slow-paced start, the narrative soon grips you with the intensity of its plot and unforgettable characters – most prominent, of course, being the protagonist (Jean Valjean). After serving a long sentence, he then must contend with the prospect of a lifetime of prejudice and discrimination by being an ex-con, but he escapes this and, with the help of a kind bishop, sets himself up under a different name.
Here he transforms into Monseiur Madeleine, a philanthropic businessman who later becomes mayor, before being hunted down by the stern and relentless Javert. If I could name any literary ‘role model’, it would be Jean Valjean.
This dramatic tale has redemption at its very heart, resonating deeply with me, and what makes it even more fascinating is the fact it’s…