by: Ann Novick
What started out as a glorious vacation in Paris ended as a terrifying nightmare.
When newlyweds Miriam and Daniel didn’t return home from France as scheduled, Miriam’s mother, Ann, knew something terrible must have happened.
The young couple had already boarded the plane home when officers removed them from their seats and returned them to the airport, assuring them, “This is just routine.” Opening a suitcase that a trusted “friend” had begged them to take, they were horrified to discover a cache of contraband drugs. Although they desperately tried to explain their innocence, they were immediately arrested and prevented from contacting anyone.
Miriam, who was expecting her first child, was thrown into a rigid and foreign prison, while Daniel was incarcerated in a different facility on the other side of town, both barred from contacting family, lawyers, or each other.
It was a living nightmare, the kind you never want to face; the kind you can’t wake up from. After days of anguish and worry, Ann rushed to Paris to negotiate the French legal system and offer support to her daughter and son-in-law, shuttling back and forth between the two prisons in her attempts to encourage and uplift the frightened young couple.
Behind Prison Walls is the true story of Miriam’s harrowing experience, seen through her daily letters to her family. As she sits alone in her prison cell, she chronicles her struggles to obtain kosher food, keep her terror at bay, and daven fervently for release before her baby is born. Miriam’s compassion for others and firm emunah fortify her throughout her ordeal, but her mother, reading between the lines, interprets the terror behind her seemingly mundane musings.
Now being told for the first time after years of silence, Behind Prison Walls is the riveting account of one family’s agonizing trial. It’s the story of hope over despair, acts of human kindness over selfish betrayal, and faith that steadfastly endures even behind prison walls.
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