One More Chance by Lucy Ayrton

A story of prison life that shirks the stereotypes, Lucy Ayrton's One More Chance is at once funny, bleak and gripping

Book Review by Heather McDaid | 04 Dec 2018
  • One More Chance
Book title: One More Chance
Author: Lucy Ayrton

Fiction that navigates issues not often showcased on the page with care and without judgement is something to savour. One More Chance does just that. Dani has made some bad choices in life and is paying the price; it's her tenth prison sentence, this time for possession of heroin and intent to supply. She's been unable to stay out of trouble, but her daughter Bethany is the core of her focus. With her child having grown up in foster care, it's Dani's goal to get out and be reunited with her; her new cellmate may just have the answer.

Lucy Ayrton weaves a story of prison life that shirks the stereotypes often shown on the page and TV, drawing from her own experience and those of people met through her work as a Communications Manager at a prison charity to create a vividly real world that leaps off the page. She dives behind the stigma that can often surround prison to showcase real people who cope, who survive, who suffer – navigating how they form alliances and friendships, the ups and downs, the humour and the darker moments of their lives.

This is an excellent book; Ayrton's voice distinctive and impressive. At times funny, others bleak, One More Chance is consistently gripping, and when it comes to reading, there's not much more you can ask for than that.

Dialogue Books, out now, £7.99