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My Boyfriend, The Inmate

This is Not My Life

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to date someone who was in prison?
Me neither. But from the minute I started reading Diane Schoemperlen's memoir on this subject, I couldn't put it down. In This is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison and Other Complications, Schoemperlen chronicles her 6 year relationship with a convicted murderer.
Schoemperlen is nursing a broken heart when she starts volunteering at a local hot meal kitchen where she meets Shane, a prisoner who has been allowed day parole to volunteer as well. She writes about the logistical barriers that exist when your new boyfriend is an inmate - things like conjugal visits and parole hearings and drug searches, things that you don't normally think of when you picture the beginnings of a new relationship. She also writes about the effect of the political climate on those on the inside (the book takes place during Stephen Harper's tough-on-crime agenda). Schoemperlen is open and frank about the emotional toll and the psychological ups and downs that came along with her relationship with Shane, and how this troubled relationship ultimately forced her to examine herself in ways she never expected.
A heart wrenching and brutally honest memoir, This is Not My Life is a fascinating look that will appeal to anyone who's ever fallen in love with the wrong person.
Diane Schoemperlen is a Governor-General's award winning author. To see more of her books, click here.