Sindy in Real Life is the biography of the first five decades in the life of a woman who was raised in a home reeking of tobacco smoke by a bullying drunk often absent father who thought she was a waste of space and a mother who thought her inferior to her cousins. It was a home without books or cultural communication. She became a failing pupil at a failing school, thought of herself as ugly and unloved. Offered sex as her only way of getting attention. Left without qualifications. Gradually she gained qualifications by grafting in court-related jobs while studying at night. Misadventures with men, an attempt to flee her hometown, only to return to its claustrophobic safety, drunken nights out with her only friend and in alone with three bottles of red wine, marked her progress through the early years as a paralegal.
But then she decided to have two children and give them a positive start in life, bring them up alone with her surname, and earn the money to do it well. She entered the rough and tumble of no-win, no-fee lawyering with a desire to help deserving people to gain compensation only to find she was trapped in a money-making machine that had little to do with justice, failed to gain just rewards and encouraged dishonest claims.
But then she became pregnant again and needed more money for three children at a time when the legal work was paying less. She turned to sex, offering her services through an escort agency to make up the difference, encountered a range of men including one who controlled her life for a year of tyranny, before finally understanding that neither profession could offer her respect or the hope of self-respect, and even as she continued to work in them began to campaign for respect. This book is part of that campaign.
It is a book about the resilience of the human spirit, an honest account in the everyday language of Sindy, full of swearing and humor, frank in its descriptions of bad, enjoyable and forced sex and male performance.