Firstly I wish to thank Sophie Campbell for an advanced copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE BOOK
HMP Bronzefield, the UK’s largest women’s prison: notorious for bent screws and drugs:
But what’s the truth behind the headlines?
Forced into signing an NDA when she arrived there on remand, former public schoolgirl Sophie risked extra time on her sentence by documenting her experiences of life inside.
Backed up by recent research and statistics, Breakfast at Bronzefield offers a powerful glimpse into a world few see: riots; unethical medical prescribing; and prison barons – key figures behind prostitution and drug-smuggling.
In a world where anything goes and being rehabilitated simply means saying ‘sorry’ right up until you’re released, how will Sophie cope on the outside, where she is expected to play by different rules? Will she succeed in creating the life she wants? Or, like most prisoners, will she end up back where she started?
Sophie Campbell had been sent to Bronzefield Prison, the largest women’s prison in England while waiting on remand to appear in court accused of GBH and assaulting a police officer. This is her story of prison life and her life after serving a two-year sentence.
There is a little about her early teenage years, where you find out about her home life and first massive leap to win a scholarship to attend a fee-paying school. Sophie wasn’t someone even then, who would fall in step with the life she had been born into. I was already admiring this young girl.
I don’t know the circumstances of the GBH offence and it isn’t my place to make judgement, that has already been done. This is her story and what prison life is really like, nothing fluffed up to make it juicy, just bare honest facts. I have read a couple of books written by men prisoners but this is my first look at prison life from a woman’s point of view.
Now Sophie is no-ones pushover, she is determined from the start that she won’t take anyone’s crap. Give an inch and you just never get back up. She has her run ins with inmates and prison officers too but mainly the story is about daily life. The basic needs and rights that are not always met sometimes because what is promised just isn’t there or simply someone can just say no.
It is clear Sophie wants to make things better for inmates, their right to further their education and give prisoners a chance of making a living when they are released. What an advocate she is, not only does she want these things to change, she backs everything with documentation, research and law.
I think some the hardest times she faces is when she is released from prison. It would have been all too easy to lay down, give up and end up back inside but she is a fighter. I mean that in the best possible way. There is an energy about her that is contagious that made me want to shout, ‘Go for it, never give up.
The book is well written and kept me wanting to know what came next for her. I wish this lady every success in her future. Thanks to the author for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sophie Campbell is the winner of the Arts Council England Time to Write grant, the Koestler Flash Fiction and Short Story award and an Associate Member of the Society of Authors. This is her first book.