Kerry Hudson. Vintage. (256p) ISBN: 9781784708603

I first heard Kerry talk at a Vintage Roadshow at Forum Books, Corbridge before Christmas, this didn’t put me off though 😉 and I was really fascinated by the concept of Lowborn.

Earlier this year I went to another Vintage Roadshow and was pleased to be able to pick up an advance copy of Lowborn.

It didn’t disappoint. It had me in tears, angry, upset, sad, but also laughing a lot due to the humour that came through.

It’s taken me a while (and a second reading, well worth it) to get my thoughts together to write this review.

The voice in this book is so honest, and due to my own past, familiar. Kerry writes about her past in some of the poorest communities in the UK, growing up in a family that doesn’t conform to the norms as seen in all the media that children consume and having to survive and hopefully grow from this. Then once she has gotten out, returning to explore emotions, personal history, and memories.

There is a lot of wry humour in this book, but by far it is the raw imagery of a past coloured by emotional and financial difficulties, both systematic and familial, that took me straight back to my own childhood and will have you fearful for the child in the ‘story’ and all the other children in stories like this all over the country now.

The return to these communities is a huge emotional commitment and again is approached with wry humour and introspection, but also massive bravery. It hurts to have to explore the past like this.

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