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The Sum of All the Pieces

Paul Bradford’s life is nothing short of tragic. From his abusive upbringing and life of poverty in Arkansas and Missouri to his life of imprisonment for sexual abuse, Bradford has seen more than his fair share of hardship and sacrifice. A military man and father, Bradford gives readers a detailed look at life as a soldier during the Vietnam War and his own challenges as husband and father who faced questions about his own sexuality. Bradford is open, honest, and clear as to the nature and severity of his crimes and the price he has paid for them.

The Sum of All the Pieces: Surviving Life’s Challenges and Bad Decisions, a memoir by Paul Bradford, reveals the author’s life one painful event at a time. Bradford begins his tale by describing the hardships his family endured at the hands of his alcoholic father and goes on to describe his life in multiple foster homes following the untimely death of his mother. Bradford’s childhood was fraught with trauma that has continued to haunt his adult life.

Nowhere else will readers find a more honest and forthright account of the poor choices that have led to a life of incarceration. Bradford admits to his crime and to the lies that estranged him from his own family. His life story is told with a clarity readers will not find in many other memoirs of this kind. He minces no words and never downplays his offenses. It’s his openness readers will appreciate as they read about his life paying the consequences.

I have to say that I was, at times, taken aback at the point-blank commentary Bradford gives regarding his crime. He puts forth his offenses as easily as he describes his days picking cotton as a child. Bradford may have, at one time, preferred to hide the truth, but his written account is as raw and gripping as it is honest. (I would like to include a trigger warning for readers who may not wish to read of sexual abuse of a child.)

The better part of Bradford’s memoir describes life in the prison system. From his first days as an inmate to his long-term sentence, he details for his readers every injustice endured as an inmate. With a focus on the need for rehabilitation, Bradford outlines what he believes to be the gross lack of concern for reducing the rate of recidivism.

Readers who are interested in real-life stories of inmates and the prison system will find Bradford’s life story enthralling. Anyone researching prison reform will appreciate Bradford’s meticulously outlined account of his experiences. I highly recommend The Sum of All the Pieces: Surviving Life’s Challenges and Bad Decisions by Paul Bradford.

Pages: 349 | ASIN: B08N1BCNPK

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The Sum of All the Pieces – Book Trailer

In The Sum of All the Pieces, Paul Bradford tells about several life-altering events and how he reckons with them. Starting with his early youth in the cotton fields in Arkansas, he details his true-life adventures about his abusive childhood, his divorce after a forty-three year marriage, his sexual orientation confusion, his heinous crime, his five years in prison, and his twelve months in the Vietnam War. The Sum of All the Pieces is an often difficult but always honest portrayal of one man’s challenges.

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