From Highlights to Lowlifes – Alyson Chattoe and Jilly Clarkby

Hall Good Books/2017

Goodreads Synopsis

What had seemed the answer to Tilly’s problems had now turned into her worst nightmare. A happily married mother-of-three, Tilly was not the stereotypical criminal – in fact, she’d barely warrant a second glance if passed in the street.

“No one will stop you, Tilly. You’re Mrs. Average. Why would any­one suspect you?”

She’d only wanted to protect her family. If your whole life was under threat, would you make the same decision?

Based on actual events and real-life diary entries, Tilly’s story shows how quickly life can turn…

Our review

From Highlights to Lowlifes is a fictional retelling of true events. Tilly is in a bit of a rut and decides to get out of that rut by smuggling drugs. As you can imagine, this doesn’t go well and she ends up in prison. This book tells the story of that dark period in her life.

I found the writing to be really good, really descriptive. It was definitely an easy read and one that didn’t require too much of an effort, so congratulations on that front. The characters were all interesting and believable and I found the descriptions of the prison and things that went on there truly horrifying! This one is a good one to read leisurely, at your own pace. One you can just pick up and put down when you feel like it. I like that about it, it is one that you can savour. There is plenty of food for thought in here too.

I do have mixed feelings about this one. Although it was written well and the story was interesting enough, I can’t help feel that we are being nudged into feeling sorry for a lady, who whilst isn’t necessarily a bad person, did do an illegal thing. I understand that she felt this was her only way out of a bad situation, but that doesn’t make it any less wrong in the grand scheme of things.

Saying that, I don’t believe Tilly wants us to feel sorry for her, more that she feels the system is wrong and that we should be picking that apart. I’m a strong believer in owning your mistakes and although Tilly does this to some extent, she also lays the blame at the door of the Justice system a little too staunchly.

I would recommend this one to fans of true crime, non-fiction and prison stories.

Happy reading!

Becca

Author Bio

Jilly and Alyson are neighbours and good friends, and they’re based in West Yorkshire. Both are dog-lovers and ‘From Highlights to Lowlifes’ was largely created during their daily walks, based on Jilly’s experiences.

As an advocate of rehabilitation and bringing to light the UK justice system’s flaws, Jilly gives talks at schools, universities and various groups across the UK.

Thank you to Love Book Tours for our free copy of this one for our honest review. And also the publishers and authors.

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