Well my 4th Mel Sherratt book in ten days and what a read! Fighting for Survival is the 3rd in the Estate series and is as gritty and compelling as the other two. Back on the Mitchell Estate we findourselves caught up in the life of the Bradleys whose reputation goes before them and has a major impact on the whole of Stanley Avenue, one of the most infamous streets on the Estate; Gina Bradley and her family are well known for their troublemaking and ruling the roost. When Caren Williams and her husband John find themselves back on Stanley Ave, having escaped years ago, trouble flares as the two of them lock heads.
As with the other books in the Estate series we catch up with old favourites such as Josie Mellor, Housing Officer and her determination to support residents of the Mitchell Estate not to see their lives as worthless because of where they come from.
Fighting for Survival is an emotional read, there is a lot of heartbreak in this book and it covers mental health, suicide, sexual abuse and domestic violence; the women in this book have had it all thrown at them and I found myself in tears reading some of it – it’s easy to say that it’s just fiction and it isn’t real but sadly this happens in estates all over the UK and is evident in all the “poverty porn” TV shows – where the producers exploit some of the most vulnerable in a media frenzy to label every person on benefits/living on an “estate” as scroungers and an underclass we should be ashamed of. What the poverty porn TV and tabloid press doesn’t highlight is the strength and goodness also found in estates across the UK – where a sense of community does exist and not everybody is worthless and your postcode doesn’t dictate your value as a human being.
This isn’t an easy read because it’s emotional but it is a brilliant portrayal of community, the strength of individuals in the face of adversity and challenges the reader to reconsider their views.
Loved it and I will most definitely be downloading the 4th in the series to read!