A gripping and emotional memoir about love, life and chosen family between two pandemics.
Juno Roche has had a remarkable life. Born in Peckham in the 1960s, they grew up in a working-class family who dabbled in minor criminality. The only one of their siblings to go to university, shortly after beginning their course at Brighton they were diagnosed with HIV, then a death sentence.
They then spent much of their younger life caught up in serious drug addiction, addiction financed often by sex work, but recovered and, after working for some years as a teacher, have for a long time now been a writer and successful campaigner.
In an incredibly honest and brave book, Juno takes us through their life with moments both tragic and uplifting: their mum sending Christmas cards containing Valium, drug withdrawal on a River Nile cruise, overcoming their father’s violence and finding their dream house in Spain. Showing immense resilience, Juno’s memoir is a book about what it means to stay alive.
Emotional, tragic, uplifting and incredibly funny, A Working-Class Family Ages Badly is a must-read for anyone who loves Educated, Deborah Levy and Motherwell.