“I prayed for him to die.”
The New York best seller, Picking Cotton is a book published in 2009 written by Erin Torneo, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, and Ronald Cotton. The book represents an unbelievable story when one mistake can change the lives of two human beings forever.
Picking Cotton is a story written about the unlikely friendship formed between a man and a women after the women incorrectly identifies the man as her rapist. Jennifer Thompson in college, sleeping in her apartment, when she was awakened by her rapist. Thompson raped and held at gunpoint by the man, her rapist then escaping. Thompson, from that day forward, would never forget the horrid details of that day.
Jennifer reported to police officials that she was raped; she was then told to choose a man from a photo lineup that she believed was her rapist. Ronald Cotton was the man chosen as her rapist, yet to be confirmed as an innocent man by a DNA test after being held in prison for eleven years.
Picking Cotton is a must-read book to listen to the dark and twisted story from both Thompson’s and Cotton’s perspective. This book is filled with dark and explicit details of the tragedy of Thompson’s rape as well as the deep emotional feelings that Cotton was going through knowing himself as an innocent man.
Some readers say that the book is too explicit and very detailed in the telling of Thompson’s rape; however this is the hard and scary truth of that night that represents much of what the story is about. The book may have scary details, but they represent a beautiful ending that occurs despite the horridness of the story. Overall, Picking Cotton symbolizes forgiveness, where Ronald Cotton is able to forgive Jennifer Thompson for wrongly identifying him as her rapist; the two are finally able to move forward sharing an incredible bond and friendship.