This Is Not My Life

This Is Not My Life

A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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A personal journey of when Diane Schoemperlen was involved with a prison inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. This is the story of the romance between Diane and Shane - how they met and fell in love, how they navigated passes and parole and the obstacles facing a long-term prisoner attempting to return to society, and how, eventually, things fell apart. In this candid, often wry, sometimes disturbing memoir, Schoemperlen takes us inside this complex and difficult relationship as she journeys through the prison system with Shane. Not only did this relationship enlarge her capacity for both empathy and compassion, but it also forced her to more deeply examine herself.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Harper Avenue, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781443434201
Branch Call Number: 306.7086927 SCHOE
Characteristics: 354 pages ; 23 cm


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Jan 17, 2019

Insightful and unusual love story.

Apr 24, 2017

The twelfth book from Governor General’s Award-winning author Diane Schoemperlen, This is Not My Life is a candid examination of one of the author’s less successful relationships. Often frustratingly relatable, This is Not My Life chronicles the stages of love between Diane and Shane from cute, flirty, and awash in butterflying stomachs all the way through rough, manipulative, and downright abusive. The couple meet while volunteering at a local Kingstonian soup kitchen called Vinnie’s, where the mantra Don’t judge. Don’t assume. is drilled into the heads of everyone washing dishes, peeling potatoes, or sorting through the basement full of donations. As Schoemperlen herself wonders, perhaps it was this mantra that let her put aside any misgivings she would normally have about beginning a relationship with Shane. Her apprehension might have been more pronounced: at the time of their meeting, Shane had already been in prison for 30 years for robbery and second-degree murder.

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Jan 20, 2017

I enjoyed this book, very candid, and thoughtful treatment of a love story.

Jan 14, 2017

Engrossing and thought-provoking - I couldn't put it down. I love how contemplative Schoemperlen is about the relationship, and I found some of the details were eerily reminiscent of some of my own past affairs (none with convicts, but perhaps in the end men are men and women are women?!). Her reflections and her honest approach took me right along with her through the whole doomed relationship. (Being from Kingston originally, I was also fascinated by some of the details of life in the city - of course prisons loomed large in the municipal consciousness before Harper closed most of them in that area.)

Dec 02, 2016

This non-fiction book is very well-written, it is actually very gripping. I go to Kingston regularly to visit family but I will never look at Kingston the same way again!

Aug 28, 2016

Diane Schoemperlen's love story goes through the ups and downs of any other doomed love story, except that she knows how to tell it, I was gripped through to the very end - one of the best memoirs I've ever read, second only to Anaïs Nin's Diaries

Jul 10, 2016

I have always liked this writer's fiction..but this is her best work yet.
Honest, frustrating, and heart-breaking, this book will leave its mark.
After finishing it in just a few readings, there is a better understanding of what led her into this relationship,and kept her returning .
And finally, how she got out.
Finding her Strength.
Really quite inspiring.

May 19, 2016

Very well written, and an excellent look into the Canadian prison system. Ms. Schoemperlen is so very forthright about her experience that it's a little unnerving. Even as the reader is shouting "Stop! Leave! Get away!", she keeps us intrigued and curious.

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