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Skint Estate: A Memoir of Poverty, Motherhood and Survival

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Cash Carraway is a single mum living in temporary accommodation. She’s been moved around the system since she left home at sixteen. She’s also been called a stain on society. And she’s caught in a poverty trap. Skint Estate is the hard-hitting debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and Cash Carraway is a single mum living in temporary accommodation. She’s been moved around the system since she left home at sixteen. She’s also been called a stain on society. And she’s caught in a poverty trap. Skint Estate is the hard-hitting debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and peepshows.


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Cash Carraway is a single mum living in temporary accommodation. She’s been moved around the system since she left home at sixteen. She’s also been called a stain on society. And she’s caught in a poverty trap. Skint Estate is the hard-hitting debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and Cash Carraway is a single mum living in temporary accommodation. She’s been moved around the system since she left home at sixteen. She’s also been called a stain on society. And she’s caught in a poverty trap. Skint Estate is the hard-hitting debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and peepshows.

30 review for Skint Estate: A Memoir of Poverty, Motherhood and Survival

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This memoir is available from 11th July 2019 Some people may think that living in Britain has a safety net for ones that find themselves at a disadvantage to others. People who are able bodied or well enough to work. Those that work but get top ups from Universal credit. If you fall out of work, there’s benefits in the UK. It’ll be alright. Not the case. What if you were 16. Moved around the system with no stability or a place to call home? Then finding yourself pregnant Checking into a women’s refu This memoir is available from 11th July 2019 Some people may think that living in Britain has a safety net for ones that find themselves at a disadvantage to others. People who are able bodied or well enough to work. Those that work but get top ups from Universal credit. If you fall out of work, there’s benefits in the UK. It’ll be alright. Not the case. What if you were 16. Moved around the system with no stability or a place to call home? Then finding yourself pregnant Checking into a women’s refuge. Stealing for needs to survive. Lots of hard hitting facts in this down to earth fact speaking messages. A child disowned by its parents lead to a lot of psychological damage. As this writer puts it “they lose their minds on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas, all the days supposed to be spent with family” It’s a real eye opener to how Britain is failing citizens of its own country. It’s not all doom and gloom, oh no. This girls a fighter. Her child is loved. And although this woman is kicked both physically, literally and metaphorically she stands tall. Living below the poverty line in Britain is a catch 22 position. No one wants to give you a better job, you don’t fit in. Most are given jobs on the minimum wage which offers no add on top ups, rent goes up, utility bills increase and the public spendature is cut. This woman has a sense of humour and I laughed out loud. But couldn’t get past the thought of, we laugh, we shield ourselves from the emotional pain. We laugh, sometimes as a defence mechanism. It’s a truly remarkable down to earth FACTUAL event. It could one day be anyone’s story. It could one day be yours. I really hope not. This is surviving. We shouldn’t just need to be on the brink of something to just survive. We should be enjoying life. Cash reminds herself of the important things; love for her daughter; community and friendship; and through this, Britain (government) need to change to protect those vulnerable in society and give them a “leg up”. The majority of us are working class. But that takes effort or luck to get there. The poverty line is real in Britain. Cash can prove it! I was sent this unsolicited book from Ebury Publishing today. I only intended to skim it and maybe read it later but I was hooked. I’ve got nothing done, been sat reading this. Cash really knows how to “tell it like it is” it was like sitting next to her and her telling me her life (so far) story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review. This is the memoir of a woman who is not a stain on society. She’s not a shameful secret, stealing money from the government. She’s not lazy, or greedy. She’s a single mother, raising a child in a city she loves, with no support network and a history of domestic abuse. Cash Carraway is just one voice in millions that we never hear. Forgotten and ignored. This is her story, her life - but unfortunately it’s far from unique. I finished this in one day ARC received in exchange for an honest review. This is the memoir of a woman who is not a stain on society. She’s not a shameful secret, stealing money from the government. She’s not lazy, or greedy. She’s a single mother, raising a child in a city she loves, with no support network and a history of domestic abuse. Cash Carraway is just one voice in millions that we never hear. Forgotten and ignored. This is her story, her life - but unfortunately it’s far from unique. I finished this in one day. Cash has a brash, sometimes aggressive writing style that is both compelling and jarring to read. She can certainly get her point across, and it’s an important one at that. She talks of a violent childhood, leading to a violent adulthood and pregnancy. Alone, scared - but excited to finally have somebody to love, and be loved in return. She talks about being ignored and stigmatised throughout her time as a single mother - people just don’t listen to women like her. I knew going in this would be dark at times, bleak and depressing, but I wasn’t expecting it to raise so much anger in me. Anger at these women being overlooked, abandoned when they are at their most vulnerable by a government that doesn’t care. The shame and despair, relying on zero hour jobs and food banks to survive. Living below the poverty line, stealing sanitary towels because you can’t afford them, and thinking of suicide as your only escape from this life. At times it was devastatingly heartbreaking. The main positive I took is the absolute love Cash so clearly has for her daughter. Together they are a formidable team and have bonded in a way that only their shared life experiences could bring. Also, the chapter surrounding the dilapidated women’s refuge and subsequent (if brief) unification of the women, and their solidarity to bring about change showed a small glimmer of hope on an otherwise desolate landscape. These women need a voice, they need an opportunity to voice it, and I applaud Penguin for giving Cash the stage to do it on. The reason I can’t rate this higher is really down to the structure of the writing, which gets a bit messy towards the end of the book. A few chapters seem to loose steam, or have a strange writing style to them, and the chronology goes a bit haywire. Sometimes I also found the writing a bit too ‘out there’. I didn’t mind the swearing (although after a while it felt a bit gratuitous) but I’d have preferred some context with the strange porn style scene I got near the end - which goes made me feel uncomfortable and felt entirely out of place. It lessened her important message. Ultimately, this is an honest and harsh memoir from a voice that needs to be heard. They’re all voices that need to be heard. The women. The survivors. Those living but not thriving. Those slowly dying due to a government that wants to erase their existence. Given the way the UK voted recently, this should be required reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This book is just something else. It is a book that should be read by everyone. Most importantly by the people who wouldn’t read it. It can not be described as enjoyable. It is a difficult subject matter that is told with gritty truth, anger and a splash of the narrator’s dry humour. But it is powerful. It is a call to arms. Cash Carraway tells you her story. The story of a single mother doing everything she can to survive. To Provide. To try to get out of the poverty trap. Working class single m This book is just something else. It is a book that should be read by everyone. Most importantly by the people who wouldn’t read it. It can not be described as enjoyable. It is a difficult subject matter that is told with gritty truth, anger and a splash of the narrator’s dry humour. But it is powerful. It is a call to arms. Cash Carraway tells you her story. The story of a single mother doing everything she can to survive. To Provide. To try to get out of the poverty trap. Working class single mothers are vilified in the media. Benefit scum, lazy, Jeremy Kyle fodder. The women who really anger the Daily Mail types. The type of women that the white middle aged men on faceless social media platforms like to say things like ‘they shouldn’t have kids if they can’t afford them’ and ‘they should be sterilised for wasting my tax payers money’ you know exactly who I’m talking about. They are the people that should read this book. I am a working class single mother myself - one of the reasons I was drawn to this book. But Cash’s life is not mine. This takes you from women’s refuges and police cells to peep shows and strip clubs. Where bankruptcy, temporary accommodation, food banks and period poverty are regular occurrences. This book shows you how our current benefit system is not working. How the government is cleansing London if it’s working class and people are turning a blind eye. Through this memoir there is love, a mothers love for her child, there is resilience, there is a voice to be heard. This is an exposing, raw, angry call for change.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    thanks to the publishers and netgalley for a free copy in return for an open and honest review This book was very open and frank and details the authors memoir of austerity Britain bringing up a child alone through doing sex work and moving from place to place. the thing I liked the most was cash's frankness in describing things which made the book for me and didn't brush anything under the carpet thanks to the publishers and netgalley for a free copy in return for an open and honest review This book was very open and frank and details the authors memoir of austerity Britain bringing up a child alone through doing sex work and moving from place to place. the thing I liked the most was cash's frankness in describing things which made the book for me and didn't brush anything under the carpet

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jodie Vivienna

    Absolutely fascinating. I Love this book so much. Mind blowing! Will read over again and again.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Noelia Alonso

    ACTUAL RATING: 4.5 STARS(9/10) This was really really difficult to read but oh so important. Full review to come

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    My favourite book I’ve read this year - it needs to be read by everyone but in particular Conservative voters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    This book will make you feel uncomfortable. Good. This book will make you feel like your privilege is a problem. Good. This book can open your eyes, and possibly change the way you look at other people. If you let it. This book isn’t about your feelings. Cash is an absolutely exceptional writer and shares the rawest moments of her life in this memoir of life below the poverty line. A women’s refuge that literally crumbles around the women and their children in the weeks after Grenfell. Visits to foo This book will make you feel uncomfortable. Good. This book will make you feel like your privilege is a problem. Good. This book can open your eyes, and possibly change the way you look at other people. If you let it. This book isn’t about your feelings. Cash is an absolutely exceptional writer and shares the rawest moments of her life in this memoir of life below the poverty line. A women’s refuge that literally crumbles around the women and their children in the weeks after Grenfell. Visits to food banks. Sex work. Whatever work will help pay the bills. The absolute disregard to an entire class of people by those at the top, who are elected time and time again by people who claim to care. I really urge everybody read this. And sit with your discomfort. Listen, learn, and stop falling for the poverty porn lies pedalled by our media, our government, and those who have more money than the people they hate could ever dream of. #20SecondBookReview Content warnings: physical abuse, mental abuse, poverty, sexual acts, frank conversation about being working class with zero regard for how it makes the middle classes feel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gabby Humphreys

    This book addresses wealth privilege and leaves out no detail about the reality of balancing motherhood and poverty. Cash talks about, well, pretty much everything. The reality of food banks, the conditions of sex work, the impact of politics on families in poverty, the issue of racism in council housing and how poverty impacts mental health are just some mentions. No detail is 'too much' in this book. The humour that is paired with this uncensored style makes this book feel pretty insensitive a This book addresses wealth privilege and leaves out no detail about the reality of balancing motherhood and poverty. Cash talks about, well, pretty much everything. The reality of food banks, the conditions of sex work, the impact of politics on families in poverty, the issue of racism in council housing and how poverty impacts mental health are just some mentions. No detail is 'too much' in this book. The humour that is paired with this uncensored style makes this book feel pretty insensitive at times. Although, to me, this tone is what makes this book such a success; perfectly capturing the humour that we use to stay afloat in hard times. This book is more informative and emotive than any page of statistics.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    Vivid, witty, sometimes horrifying, often funny and undoubtably brilliant. Cash Carraway's memoir of life as a single mother living below the poverty line is, among other things, a clear indictment of austerity measures and the complete lack of empathy that characterises so many recent Tory policies. Carraway plainly, and without apology, recounts the prejudice, abuse and sheer disdain which she and so many others face daily. Human beings shouldn't have to be saints to be deserving of respect, a Vivid, witty, sometimes horrifying, often funny and undoubtably brilliant. Cash Carraway's memoir of life as a single mother living below the poverty line is, among other things, a clear indictment of austerity measures and the complete lack of empathy that characterises so many recent Tory policies. Carraway plainly, and without apology, recounts the prejudice, abuse and sheer disdain which she and so many others face daily. Human beings shouldn't have to be saints to be deserving of respect, and Carraway isn't going to pretend to be - not to fit a neat media-friendly image of a victim. In fact, she is by turns funny, obscene, sad, gross and so, SO angry. Most importantly, she is trying incredibly hard to care for her daughter. In many ways, this book reads more like a love letter to her daughter - whom Carraway is desperate to provide with a better life - than 'poverty porn'. Though Carraway is open about selling stories of deprivation to right-wing news outlets to be mocked on social media, if only for a bit of extra cash to feed her daughter, she will not allow herself to be reduced to her circumstances. Carraway's love provides hope, even in the bleakest of moments: her daughter inspires her and gives her strength to fight for a better life. Women like Cash Carraway aren't meant to have hope, they aren't meant to fight for their futures and the futures of their children, but she is. She is, because she loves her daughter. And for all the troubles she's been through, she a fucking fantastic mother!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helen Marquis

    This book should be compulsive reading for all Daily Mail journalists and readers, who think that somehow people living on benefits in the UK all live in palaces with more income than "decent, honest working folk" etc etc ad nauseum. Carraway shine a bright unflinching light on modern-day poverty in the UK - zero working hour contracts, social housing, benefits eligibility, food banks - all of it a far cry from the images regularly portrayed in the media. As a single mother, she is driven by her This book should be compulsive reading for all Daily Mail journalists and readers, who think that somehow people living on benefits in the UK all live in palaces with more income than "decent, honest working folk" etc etc ad nauseum. Carraway shine a bright unflinching light on modern-day poverty in the UK - zero working hour contracts, social housing, benefits eligibility, food banks - all of it a far cry from the images regularly portrayed in the media. As a single mother, she is driven by her instinct to provide for her child - from dancing in a Soho strip club while heavily pregnant, to penning articles about life below the poverty line which get twisted to support the media's ongoing narrative about benefit scroungers.... It's a stark account of the harsh realities behind the sensational headlines. The reality of not having a fixed address and how that affects your ability to work, have a bank account, etc. The reality of not having a full-time job, and the reluctance of landlords to then let accommodation to you. The challenges of being a single parent and caring for your child.... Carraway's strength and resilience through it all is truly inspiring, which makes her moments of vulnerability all the more hard-hitting. This is an important book that should be widely read. Highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (bookmadbarlow)

    This was a very readable memoir about the authors life. She delves into the reasons behind her poverty and explains very matter of factly what she has had to deal with from a young age. The language is harsh in places, but this helps to make full impact. This will make you question if you (weren't already) the benefits system, the 0 hours system and affordable housing situation. It did get quite political from the start and continues periodically throughout and the ending was a bit abrupt, maybe This was a very readable memoir about the authors life. She delves into the reasons behind her poverty and explains very matter of factly what she has had to deal with from a young age. The language is harsh in places, but this helps to make full impact. This will make you question if you (weren't already) the benefits system, the 0 hours system and affordable housing situation. It did get quite political from the start and continues periodically throughout and the ending was a bit abrupt, maybe leaving room for the next instalment? My thanks to Ebury for the gifted copy of this in exchange for an honest review

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    TW: domestic abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, explicit language and discussions of sexual content Thank you very much to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for allowing me to read an eARC copy of Skint Estate. Wow. All I can say to this book is Wow. It was a real eye-opener; in my job i'm no stranger to working with people who are in the depths of poverty but actually reading this deep and real experience of someone living below the poverty line was quite harrowing. I cannot imagine how Cash h TW: domestic abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, explicit language and discussions of sexual content Thank you very much to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for allowing me to read an eARC copy of Skint Estate. Wow. All I can say to this book is Wow. It was a real eye-opener; in my job i'm no stranger to working with people who are in the depths of poverty but actually reading this deep and real experience of someone living below the poverty line was quite harrowing. I cannot imagine how Cash had such power to get up every day and carry on living. She was let down by almost everyone in her life; family, friends, loved ones, and professionals who are meant to be there to support you in the worst of times. Cash doesn't hold back. And I don't think she should; this is the real experience of so many people and it needs to be shouted across the screens. People need to stand up and take notice and actually start doing something to change. This story just made me ache. I admire her bravery and her strength and her just real grit and determination. In the face of all this crap, she manages to have humour and an insane amount of love for her daughter. Everything Cash does she does for her daughter and that love she has for her is the thing that keeps her going. I read this in practically one sitting and literally couldn't put it down; any chance I had to pick it up and read another few pages I did. The only only reason I gave it four stars was because the structure of the book was at times, just really confusing. The timeline jumps around quite a lot and it gets confusing at what stage in her life Cash is. This book takes you to places you do not want to go but that you need to go to understand just what other people's lives are like. I highly recommend picking this one up but it is definitely not an easy read. Publish Date: 12th March 2020

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patsy O'Neill

    An incredibly important and eye-opening book, intensely passionate, gutsy and very emotional. Loved it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    ↠Ameerah↞

    Great insight into the reality of poverty Britian. Very difficult read but my goodness is it eye opening and incredibly important.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rhianne Colvin

    A very raw account of a woman’s life living below the poverty line. I laughed at times, and felt so sad at others. Definitely worth a read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darren-lee

    Respect her honesty....

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maria V

    What a load of rubbish! I got this book as I read an interview with the author in a magazine and I was intrigued to find out more about the realities of life of underprivileged. This book is an incoherent monologue of a mentally unstable, angry person. It has very little facts nor a story line. It has a lot of swearing to compensate for lack of substance. The majority of the previous reviews are written by people who received this book as a gift. I actually spent money on this and regret it dear What a load of rubbish! I got this book as I read an interview with the author in a magazine and I was intrigued to find out more about the realities of life of underprivileged. This book is an incoherent monologue of a mentally unstable, angry person. It has very little facts nor a story line. It has a lot of swearing to compensate for lack of substance. The majority of the previous reviews are written by people who received this book as a gift. I actually spent money on this and regret it dearly. One of the worst books of this genre I ever read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A brutally honest, heart wrenching and eye opening memoir of the life of a working class single mother in austerity Britain. Everyone needs to read this - especially the Tories.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mr Brendan Timlin

    This story is difficult to absorb, but I could not put it down. It deals with subjects most would be afraid to touch, the reality of life most are afraid to admit exists.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nomipalony

    Powerful, funny, heartbreaking and what every person inclined to vote Tory should be reading right now. I listened to the audiobook which is read superbly by Carraway and I’d recommend.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Kerdouci

    By the time I’d finished reading this memoir I was more or less rendered speechless and can’t stop thinking about Cash’s story. This reads as a scathing attack on Tory politics and her experiences of poverty, patriarchy and capitalism with men continually abusing their power over women, physically mentally and financially and the voices of women like her who are drowned out by the privileged elite. I experienced so many emotions reading this memoir, ranging from embarrassment and guilt that I am By the time I’d finished reading this memoir I was more or less rendered speechless and can’t stop thinking about Cash’s story. This reads as a scathing attack on Tory politics and her experiences of poverty, patriarchy and capitalism with men continually abusing their power over women, physically mentally and financially and the voices of women like her who are drowned out by the privileged elite. I experienced so many emotions reading this memoir, ranging from embarrassment and guilt that I am fortunate enough to not be living the kind of life she has,through to sadness at the degrading way she has been treated by individuals and the state as well as shock and disgust at some of the things she’s had to do simply to survive. All this in a first world society that favours the wealthy with the gap between rich and poor ever widening. Of course there’s no way this memoir could be anything other than political and it is the kind of book that will provoke heated debate, regardless of your own politics and the author is right in saying that she will be judged, as she has been for many years but her voice deserves to be heard and reach an audience from all walks of life. However I want to try and review her memoir on her writing style alone, if that is at all possible! I think Cash is fortunate in the sense that she’s intelligent and articulate when so many who find themselves part of this ‘underclass’ aren’t and whilst this book is about her own unique experiences, a lot of what she has to say will resonate with many. Her use of language is colourful, crude, graphic and obviously intended to shock but her prose is underlined with dark humour so that you can’t help but laugh at some of the stories she’s chosen to recount. ( the train toilet anecdote is one for starters!) I loved the humour in the way she offers her opinions and observations of the Boden wearing, Mandarin tutor seeking middle class parents; accurate and well observed. Like all of us, she’s a flawed human being but makes no apologies for that fact. Having a far from idyllic childhood, she’s been battling alcohol addiction and finding herself in abusive relationships with men that are vile human beings. Discovering herself pregnant and wanting to keep her child (I’m not judging here)she has to embark on a life that severely tests her will to survive. She probably despises someone like me (a single mum but super privileged by Cash’s standards) commenting on her resourcefulness, determination and courage to simply keep on going. Despite the often sordid and grubby nature of Cash’s story, she relives her experiences without self pity and her pure love for her daughter shines through constantly. Determined to not repeat the mistakes of her own parents, she is resolute in her desire to create something better for her daughter even though the welfare system and poor choice of partners continually wear her down. I found it heartbreaking to read of the times when she considered life was no longer worth living (and I couldn’t blame her) as I did with the food bank anecdotes. I wholeheartedly agree with her statement that for some no matter how hard you work you’ll never be able to rise above your station since those in power are determined to maintain the status quo and tough luck if you happen to be part of society living below the poverty line. Reading this memoir, I was particularly intrigued about Cash’s time as a ‘wife tourist’ and the blogs she wrote at that time and I do wonder too about the editing process of this book and the glossing over of some periods such as her time at university. All in all you’d have to be pretty heartless not to feel compassion for this woman and her daughter and if nothing else can be gained from writing her memoir I’d like to hope it could facilitate more discussion around issues such the closure of women’s refuges, lack of adequate housing and the need to further isolate already vulnerable people by moving them further afield from their friends/family/support networks. I will be encouraging everyone I know to pick up this book. My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    Thanks to Penguin and NetGalley for an ARC of Skint Estate. Skint Estate is a brutally honest look at the welfare state in the UK, not just for single mothers but for everyone. The demonisation of those below (or on) the poverty line and the pushing of people and families out of the capital. Carraway details her childhood, her twenties and having a baby at 29 in 2010. The majority of the book centres around her daughter (Biddy) and the life they lead up until Carraway was given this book deal. I Thanks to Penguin and NetGalley for an ARC of Skint Estate. Skint Estate is a brutally honest look at the welfare state in the UK, not just for single mothers but for everyone. The demonisation of those below (or on) the poverty line and the pushing of people and families out of the capital. Carraway details her childhood, her twenties and having a baby at 29 in 2010. The majority of the book centres around her daughter (Biddy) and the life they lead up until Carraway was given this book deal. It does not shy away from the real horrors that are faced by women and those in the poorest communities. Whilst the content of this book and the message it is pushing is very relevant to our times and needs to be shared, I struggled in some places with the writing style. The chronology / timeline frequently jumped around and in some instances seemed a little confused and did not line up. Carraway's frequent use of the term 'YouTuber' was also very jarring, it is used to compare her life, what her life would be like if she were one and even her daughter discussing the merits of it. This seemed an unnecessary comparison and took me out of the book a number of times. Carraway's story reads so alarming in places you might even believe it to be fiction/dystopia but it is her real life account and tells it like it truly is. For that reason alone I really think that everyone should read this book. 3.5/5 Note: there are numerous trigger warnings for this book that should be noted before reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lucii Dixon

    I thought this was going to be an incredible journey of someone ‘similar’ (notice, before anyone jumps on me that I did not say ‘same’) to me, in a similar situation. And to an extent it was, but really it was just jumble of words thrown together. I found much of it highly offensive. I live under the poverty line, that’s no lie, and as harrowing and tiring as it is, it’s no where near as damning as this author makes out. I’ve used food banks, I’ve also donated to them too. The first 5% I nearly I thought this was going to be an incredible journey of someone ‘similar’ (notice, before anyone jumps on me that I did not say ‘same’) to me, in a similar situation. And to an extent it was, but really it was just jumble of words thrown together. I found much of it highly offensive. I live under the poverty line, that’s no lie, and as harrowing and tiring as it is, it’s no where near as damning as this author makes out. I’ve used food banks, I’ve also donated to them too. The first 5% I nearly didn’t bother carrying on, but I did and I finished it too. Bravo, moi. Something I do agree on with this author is that the Tory’s suck. I hate them as much as she does. They’re ruining the country and especially targeting the poor.. and the disabled like myself. Although, saying all that, the author has an incredible gift with words. She’s very talented but maybe instead of streaming words together that make no sense, maybe she could right in a way that does. I did find myself laughing at some parts; Cash has great humour and I did sympathise with her and her daughter. Her past that syncs into her present is an extraordinary story to tell, I’m not denying that. She’s fought against a system that seems to despise the poor and the disabled and for that I can only praise her for. She can be an inspiration to many people. Although the story didn’t end up being my cup of tea, I did enjoy it for the most part but it did drag on a little and a lot made no sense. But it was an ‘okay’ read at best.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Byron

    *Thank you to netgalley and the author for a review copy for a fair and honest review.* 4.5 stars Cash Carraway has written a memoir of the turmoil that has plagued her life throughout. She has taken the approach to write it in using her own everyday language. So there is a lot of a expletives and typical bad language from someone who has already dealt with so much and she warns you of this from the very beginning. Some may find that this is not appropriate language to read but I disagree. Without *Thank you to netgalley and the author for a review copy for a fair and honest review.* 4.5 stars Cash Carraway has written a memoir of the turmoil that has plagued her life throughout. She has taken the approach to write it in using her own everyday language. So there is a lot of a expletives and typical bad language from someone who has already dealt with so much and she warns you of this from the very beginning. Some may find that this is not appropriate language to read but I disagree. Without the language and distasteful things that are said, then I feel that the gravity of Cash's feelings would not be felt by the reader. The moral ambiguity may not be to everyone's taste, but who are they to judge someone for their behaviour, if they have not had the very same life experiences that Cash has gone through. Altogether I found this book exquisite. It has an incredibly important message to deliver to the readers (I wont spoil it for those who are yet to read). I finished this book feeling drained and exhausted by the way Cash's life to'd and fro'd from one extreme to the other. I would highly recommend that everyone reads this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claire (Book Blog Bird)

    This was an incredible book. It was sordid, honest and brutal. It made me feel incredibly uncomfortable because although I don’t consider myself to be particularly privileged, I know that actually I am compared to so so many people in this country. It also made me feel helpless because although I do stuff like vote for parties with robust welfare policies and give to food banks, I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO GIVE TO FOOD BANKS! A country as rich as this should not need fucking food banks! I shouldn’t have This was an incredible book. It was sordid, honest and brutal. It made me feel incredibly uncomfortable because although I don’t consider myself to be particularly privileged, I know that actually I am compared to so so many people in this country. It also made me feel helpless because although I do stuff like vote for parties with robust welfare policies and give to food banks, I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO GIVE TO FOOD BANKS! A country as rich as this should not need fucking food banks! I shouldn’t have to check the welfare policy of the party I want to vote for, because every political party should be helping the people who live here. It’s literally what they are there for. So yeah, in conclusion this book was not good for my rage. I would like to buy Boris Johnson a copy of this book with a note attached inviting him to roll it into a fat cylinder and pop it neatly up his bottom.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ruth This one

    An essential read. This will open your eyes to understanding what life is really like for single mums desperate to raise their kids safely and healthily while struggling with mental health difficulties caused by poverty, neglect and abuse - abuse by parents, families, partners, random men, middle class women, politicians, governments that you have voted in (well did you? Someone voted Tory) and society. How are we letting this happen? Why have we not risen up against austerity? Read this book if An essential read. This will open your eyes to understanding what life is really like for single mums desperate to raise their kids safely and healthily while struggling with mental health difficulties caused by poverty, neglect and abuse - abuse by parents, families, partners, random men, middle class women, politicians, governments that you have voted in (well did you? Someone voted Tory) and society. How are we letting this happen? Why have we not risen up against austerity? Read this book if you have fallen back into complacency after watching I Daniel Blake. And read this book even if you haven't watched I Daniel Blake, and then go and watch it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clare Dowle

    An amazing insight to life that isn’t filled with easy options and being saved. A true account of the horror of trying to just survive in modern day Britain. Relatable to people who have struggled and are still struggling to find a path in life where they no longer have to worry about who is coming to the door or what that next phone call will be or even if they can afford to eat that day. Heartbreaking in places but worth a read no matter who you are or where you come from

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mothwing

    I gave up at 50% because I just could not take it anymore. I feel deeply sorry for Cash and admire her immense strength, I applaud her indomitable will, but I just could not take it anymore, all that pain, all that abuse and dysfunction. I felt like one of the customers in her peep show the more I read, so I stepped back, not wanting to disturb what feels like therapeutic writing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    S D

    Harowing and informative account. Well written.

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