"Once I was a Princess" by Jacqueline Pascarl-Gillespie and sub-titled "A mother's worst nightmare" told the true story of an Australian woman who married a member of the Malaysian royal family. Despite agreeing to her retaining custody when the marriage broke up, he later kidnapped their two children and when the courts ruled against him, ignored the verdict and kept them anyway.
In "Stolen Time" by Sunny Jacobs, her children were also taken from her but for rather different reasons. In the wrong place at the wrong time, she was convicted alongside her husband for the murder of two policemen while the real killer did a plea bargain. Her children were 10 months and 9 years old at the time. She then spent 5 years in solitary confinement on death row, the only woman in the state of Florida facing the death penalty, followed by a further 12 years in prison before her wrongful conviction was overturned and she was released.
I love biographies and find this sort of story inspirational. I love the evidence of the strength we find within ourselves when we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. I love getting an insight into other people's characters and a reminder that life serves up challenges as a matter of course.
I do however limit my reading of this genre of book these days simply because most of my reading takes place in bed and dozing off visualising the gruesome events of people's lives doesn't strike me as the optimum way to start my night's sleep.
But tomorrow I'll tell you what I'm reading now and why it is the perfect reading for any time of the day or night.