From Publishers Weekly
Early on, Taylor somberly informs his readers that "most men do not survive four decades of incarceration," a foreboding revelation that sets the stage for this riveting life story. An unflinching examination of his crime-a bank robbery and homicide committed at age 30-and his resulting conviction, incarceration, spiritual growth and eventual emancipation 40 years later, this tale proves emotional, forthright and inspirational. Writing with the help of his wife, the halfway-house counselor he met after his release from prison at age 70, Taylor looks back without self-pity or regret, making the casual cruelty he endures and his straightforward survival strategies all the more chilling. Smart, determined and hopeful, Taylor makes use of his prison days learning the law and helping out his fellow inmates, "so they would not turn on me while I slept." Also resonant are murky scenes of a painful adolescence spent with an emotionally abusive father, his only adult accomplices-beloved Uncle Louis and Grandma Taylor-having succumbed to early deaths. That Taylor eventually finds peace, going so far as to "thank God for confinement because it gave me time to change," speaks to the enormous heart of this honest, affecting account.
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"An unflinching examination of his crimea bank robbery and homicide committed at age 30and his resulting conviction, incarceration, spiritual growth and eventual emancipation 40 years later, this tale proves emotional, forthright and inspirational...Taylor looks back without self-pity or regret, making the
casual cruelty he endures and his straightforward survival strategies all the more chilling." — Publisher's Weekly
"A compelling tale of crime, punishment, and redemption. Taylor's raw memoir exposes both the terrible injustices of an inhumane prison system and the power love can wield in its midst." — Minneapolis Quarterly Observer
"I was stunned by Willow in a Storm
This harrowing and inspiring story [is told] with class, directness and honesty." Sister Helen Prejean, anti-death penalty activist and author of Dead Man Walking
"The story at the heart of Willow in a Storm is compellinga window onto a world that many people have never considered." Laura Stemple, former Executive Director, Stop Prison Rape