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Skint Estate: A Memoir of Poverty, Motherhood and Survival

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  720 ratings  ·  135 reviews
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
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published July 11th 2019 by Ebury Press
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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
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
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, true-story
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
Jodie Vivienna
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating. I Love this book so much. Mind blowing! Will read over again and again.
Noelia Alonso

This was really really difficult to read but oh so important. Full review to come
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favourite book I’ve read this year - it needs to be read by everyone but in particular Conservative voters.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Ellie (bookmadbarlow)
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patsy O'Neill
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly important and eye-opening book, intensely passionate, gutsy and very emotional. Loved it.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great insight into the reality of poverty Britian. Very difficult read but my goodness is it eye opening and incredibly important.
Helen Marquis
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Maria V
Oct 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Caroline Kerdouci
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lucii Dixon
Mar 13, 2020 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
*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
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Ruth This one
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Clare Dowle
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harowing and informative account. Well written.
Jenni Garratt*
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting read & would love to meet this lady! Fascinating dinner guest! ...more
Thanks to Ebury and NetGalley an advance e-copy of this title.

This was a very good (albeit sometimes graphic) description of a life in poverty. I definitely learned a lot, feel extremely guilty for my privilege, and am angrier than ever at the Tories and those who support them. I raced through it, and whilst it’s hard to describe this kind of memoir as enjoyable, there were moments of hope and bits to laugh at too. Would highly recommend.
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.
Sine MacDonald
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG I loved this book....gritty, blunt, harsh & oh so truthful....hats off Cash Carraway!! ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, 2019
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