Severe Discomfort by Sarah Honeysett – A Review
Severe Discomfort is a fictional novel following the lives of a couple who due to illness and disability are reliant on the welfare state for their income.
Their lives change drastically when a neighbor seeing their mixed race grandchildren being dropped off assumes that they are benefit cheats childminding on the side and turns them in to the department of work and pensions.
The novel gives us an insight into how the benefit system operates under the covers through the eyes of the family and their benefits advisors . How it creates hardship stress and fear when it turns against people and how tabloid attitudes have so corrupted people’s thinking that families turn against each other and their friends. Even the people wrongly accused think the worst of others in the same position
This story is set just before the 2010 election when the benefit system was less harsh and punitive than it is today. The system degrades everyone involved from the so called clients to the very people administering the system
We think it would benefit people to read this so they can understand the kafkaesque nightmare of our social security system. If we can get this story into the best sellers lists and more people read it then maybe it can turn the tide of tabloid propaganda against the sick and disabled and open people’s hearts and minds to a more equal and just social security net.
FYI: The story does not follow the family to the conclusion of their tribunal. That comes in the sequel which is not free to download, But I think I can forgive the author that.
The book can be purchased in paperback or as an e-book, just Google the name of the book and author.