Guilty Hearts–Released Spring 2017!
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Caroline Giammanco takes a personal look at the lives of families who are living with an incarceration in her soon-to-be-released Guilty Hearts: The World of Prison Romances.
Guilty Hearts takes a look at the often misunderstood world of love during incarceration. Caroline shares the stories of couples and families who are keeping love alive while facing the struggles of separation, loneliness, and stigma.
Prison relationships cover the spectrum of experience. Contrary to popular public belief, not everyone involved in a prison relationship is the social equivalent of the Crazy Cat Lady. Readers will be intrigued by stories from regular, everyday people who have found themselves in this unconventional situation. Whether they chose a prison relationship or whether they found themselves there by circumstance, in their stories one thing rings true: humanity has a desire to make love work.
Social stigma has caused many to hide their connection with an incarcerated loved one. With 2.4 million Americans now incarcerated, not to mention the 70 million who have criminal records, prison has left its mark on more people than mainstream stigmas and prejudices would want anyone to believe. Far from being a fringe experience in our nation, prison relationships are becoming more common. They are also coming out of the shadows.
Excerpts from Guilty Hearts. Meet real people. Learn their heartbreaks and joys. Understand why they choose to love someone behind bars.
“Out of sheer curiosity to know more about the prison culture, I took a risk and answered the ad. Again, I wasn’t looking for romance, and I certainly didn’t think that a connection would present itself through a pen pal correspondence. Although I had an open mind, I also had some very strong assumptions about what type of person I would hear back from. Those preconceptions were primarily reinforced by media and through the comments of various family members and friends. The general assumption was that any inmate would be a con artist, a user, an impulsive, uneducated, and non-empathic person.” — Ashley
“These ten years have been devastating to me as a person. The depression a mother feels when her son is sent to prison is unbearable. We spend our lives doing our best to provide our children what they need for a happy life. Those dreams come crashing down when prison becomes their destination. It is even harder to bear when the sentence seems so out of whack compared to those I witnessed with my own eyes given child rapists. Watching the news at night, I have seen time after time murderers getting less time than my son did. Did Jacob make mistakes? Yes. Jacob knows it, and I know it. Does that diminish the pain, anger, and loss I feel as a mother? No.” — Diane
“I killed my best friend. It doesn’t matter how many years I spend here in prison, I will never be free of the guilt I carry for killing Danny. I want everyone to know I have remorse for what I did, and I’m not asking for any sympathy. Kelli wanted us to tell our story, though, so I will. You already know why I’m in prison. I’m going to concentrate on telling what an amazing woman Kelli is.
It takes a special person to be willing to put up with a prison relationship. She and my daughter, Ariana, are the only reasons why I wake up in the morning. If I didn’t have them, I’d probably become the meanest man on the face of the planet. She keeps me sane.” — Kyle
“Forrest Gump said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.’ Well, the reactions I face since Jake’s arrest are a combination of bridge mix and those jelly beans we all heard about in Harry Potter. You know the ones. They range from cherry pie to vomit flavor. Yep, that’s been my experience ever since my husband became an inmate.” — Callie
“I feel like a widow who gets to have occasional phone calls with my dead husband. But he isn’t dead. He isn’t a part of life either.” — Pamela