Monday, December 22, 2014

Lindsey Reviews: Pen Pal Volume 1: Avionce story Rayven Sky


Pen Pal Volume 1: Avionce story

Rayven Sky

BR Publications


This story centres on Avionce Griffin: a prisoner sentenced to 58 years after he commits first degree murder.  Whilst serving his sentence, he participates in a penpal programme his prison advocates. Avionce begins a penpal correspondence with Raychel, a married mother.  As the two begin to write to each other, their friendship deepens and Avionce finds that he is able to reach out to Raychel. Through his letters, as well as relaying the harshness and oppression of prison life, he begins to confide details of his childhood: about his schizophrenic mother, his homosexuality, his devout Jehovah’s Witness Grandparents and the shame they feel for Avionce and his actions.  Raychel acts as a mother influence through her letters, telling him of her family and their love, giving him advice and making him feel part of her family.  Yet all is not as it seems.  When Avionce opens up to Raychel about the circumstances of what led to his conviction, a shocking confession comes to light and life will never be the same for both Raychel and Avionce.

This was a really breath-taking and indeed unusual story; it had a real twist to the tale and was by turns sad but equally uplifting. It portrayed a real glimpse into the harsh reality which prisoners endure behind bars and dealt with so many diverse themes: love, life, the importance of family, prejudice, he effects of religion and how sometimes shame and guilt can cloud our thinking. Yet it shone through with positivity as the tale of Avionce showed the power of human faith and even in the darkest times and places, there is always hope.

Perfect for fans of Roger John Ellory, John Grisham and true life tales such as Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean, this is a highly readable book.



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