The Year I Lived in my Car by Anya Peters

The Year I Lived in my Car

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Collected blog entries from Peters (Abandoned, 2009), who, in 2005, became homeless.

The author, who endured significant childhood trauma, later lost control of her life after the failure of a relationship. With little warning, she found herself destitute on the streets of Brighton, England, with her car as her only major possession. After living in her vehicle for five months and failing to find work in the seaside town, she drove to London in search of job opportunities. There, on a deserted laneway surrounded by trees, she found a parking place that effectively became her home. Venturing into the city, the author was drawn into a library, where she decided to start a blog about her hand-to-mouth existence using the name WanderingScribe. The blog connected her with the wider world and provided her with raw material for this, her second book. In apparently unedited entries, the author describes the fear and vulnerability she felt when sleeping in her car, including the excruciating pain of lying contorted on uncomfortable seats and the horrific thought of being murdered in the night. The blog entries chart her unsteady path into dislocation and mental illness as she became increasingly paranoid. They’re also a testament to the author’s indefatigable resilience, as even the most rudimentary of tasks, such as her daily religious ablutions, were fraught with difficulty. At one point, she describes how she attempted to disguise herself as an orderly in order to use a hospital’s showers. This is a very real story of not being able to find warmth or afford the price of a cup of tea, and the blog entries’ erratic style reflects the increasing urgency of the author’s situation as she fluctuated between hope and despair. Overall, this collection conveys the trauma of homelessness with artful simplicity.

A homeless blogger’s moving search for salvation.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2013
Page count: 141pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2013


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