For a book I’ve owned for less than a month, I opted for The Handsworth Times by Sharon Duggal. I received it as part of Moth Box and decided my reading from home weeks was an excellent time to conquer it. It’s the north of England in the early 1980s and the economy is rubbish. People are desperate for work but there’s none to be had. During a riot, a tragedy strikes a family that leaves them all reeling.
As Mercedes promised, this story is very dark and sad. In a family of so many people, there are so many things to make life uglier and harder. The tale was very depressing if you let it be but it also showed how the option of ‘lay down and die’ cannot be a permanent solution. Duggal did a fantastic job of showing how ugly and messy life can be but how we all must keep carrying on.
I was seriously on the fence about how to rate this but I landed on 4 stars because Duggal gave us resolutions but not perfect and neat endings tied in a bow. Life doesn’t work that way. She also accurately portrayed grief and desperation. We need more literature that shows how ugly life can be. 4/5