LOWBORN - A powerful account of surviving poverty in Britain
"When every day of your life you have been told you have nothing of value to offer, that you are worth nothing to society, can you ever escape that sense of being 'lowborn' no matter how far you've come?"
Kerry Hudson is a prizewinning novelist who has travelled the world. She has a "stable home" (whatever that means) and can afford to eat when she's hungry and sleep in her own bed every night if she wants to, all of which most other British people would find obvious. But... It could have been very different, and it certainly was twenty years ago.
In Lowborn, Kerry revisits her past and the towns she grew up in. A necessary work, as she explains often finding herself looking over her shoulder, caught somehow between two worlds.
Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools and five secondaries, living in B&Bs and council flats. She scores eight out of ten on the Adverse Childhood Experiences measure of childhood trauma.
I've read some reviews blaming the author for "lack of emotional depth" - I disagree. Kerry Hudson made sure to tell her story, sharing even her most difficult memories, without ever over-dramatizing the events. I found the book incredibly brave, honest and moving.
⚠️ Don't expect an analytical take, with statistics and facts on UK poverty. This book is the account of her survival.
“Here I was chasing my past, trying to piece things together but perhaps the real courage was in simply accepting the things that happen and learning to live with them.”
Written by Mathilde C.