Reading Eve Higgins’ book ‘How I survived in and out of care’ is difficult. It’s hard to comprehend what care leavers have been through, and it’s hard – as an adoptive parent – to even consider what could have happened to my child, had he remained in the care system.
Eve, abandoned as a baby, and then enduring a number of foster placements before being placed in a children’s home writes about her experiences and the relationship that she developed with Ella – abused by her father, and ending up in the same children’s home as Eve.
I feel the book is stilted – as a read it doesn’t flow neatly from one section to the next, but then I imagine that moving through care is similar. There are no nice neat transitions, just the ending of one part, and on to the next. Paragraphs with little nuggets of information in.
But what this book shows is the importance of relationships – whether they are challenging, grief-filled as with Nicola, or long-lasting and strong – like that between Eve and Ella. Detailed through part of the book are the people that Eve and Ella know – the characters and friends they’ve come across both in the care system directly, and through the Adoption and Fostering in the UK forums. The writer brings these characters to life and it’s not hart to feel connected to some of them.
The book features case studies that are well worth reading – giving a rounded explanation of a few people and their stories.
And the final few pages contain poems written by Eve and Ella – which having read the book, I then found very emotional.