Have you ever had a book where you had to create excuses, just so you can read it?
Well a month ago I was having long baths, going to bed late and waking up early, all just to read this book! This book is an autobiography about Tracey Miller, who goes by the name of Sour. Tracey Miller lived an eventful life on the streets of London; she was a senior member in her local gang. With the help of the reporter Lucy Bannerman, Tracey Millers shares the crimes she’s committed, the wrongs done against her and the difficulties of her upbringing.
You may be wondering ‘what is so special about this book, which made me take the long baths and destroy my sleeping pattern?’It’s very simple, this book explores the interesting debate of what can cause individuals to offend. “Youth workers could argue I had no chance. Politicians could blame my parents. Others might say the choices I made were mine and mine alone. Maybe they’re all right./ Me? I think badness is genetic. With a manic depressive for a mother and a convicted rapist for father, I aint ever gonna be little bo peep”. This book doesn’t offer an answer to the debate it gives a brilliant example of why this is a debate.
The characters in this story are so real, partly because they’re actually real but there’s something about each of them that leaves you divided. From the women that Sour shares her cell with her to Sour’s little brother who converts to Islam. I find this book humbling because Sour’s parents came over to England from the Caribbean during the Windrush movement; this is when my Grandparents came to England.
The key section of this story for me is when Tracey’s lifestyle catches up with her and she finds herself in jail, initially her reaction is what you expect: depression, self-pity, and anger. However, after a couple weeks of being incarcerated Tracey began to dread coming out, for me it was very heart breaking to think that someone would rather be in jail than home.
This book left me with a great sense of pride to know that my Mom could have been sour but instead my life is very different. Now is that luck that my Nan never got placed in an area as rough as Brixton or is testament to my mother’s character? Read the book and decide for yourself! I know you want to.