Breakfast at Bronzefield by Sophie Campbell. (2020).
**3 out of 5 stars**
**Thank you to the author for getting in contact and sending me a free copy of this novel, I am very appreciative**
Sophie documented her experiences inside HMP Bronzefield, the UK’s largest women’s prison, despite being forced into signing a NDA when she arrived there on remand. 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. 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 when she is released? Will she succeed or like most prisoners, will she end up back where she started?
I want to take a second to acknowledge how brave it must have been for this author to keep notes on her prison experience after being forced to sign a non disclosure agreement; and also acknowledge that it must have been quite emotional to have reflected on everything while writing this book.
Now onto my review! A really niggling thing for me personally was that I was disappointed to not know the exact incident that lead to the author’s arrest; the author does explains her feelings about it not being necessary to disclose specifics of her legal history for the rest of her life but I do think it would have been within context for this particular book. I also think it would have supported her argument that it’s not just disadvantaged people that land in prison, it can truly happen to any of us. I found the author’s account to be quite honest in that she describes how in prison many women take on a different persona to survive and often this persona includes being more defiant and aggressive. I found the flow a bit chaotic in that the author jumps all over the place in terms of timeline. In saying that, I would consider the style of this book to feel a bit like a diary; the author is explaining things as she thinks of them.
Overall: an interesting and informative memoir that will hopefully be eye-opening and enlightening for some people.