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Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
Carol Denise Mitchell never thought she would be 66 and homeless in California, but there she was. Recalling her life and the choices that she had made, or changes that she was forced to accept, she tells us the story of her downward spiral in her autobiography Unstable. She went from being the wife of a wealthy man with two children to staying in a horrible shelter after she decided to move to California from Arizona, a decision that left her with regrets. The place where she once grew up and raised a family was no longer the same. Gentrification had erased black business and culture and it became a place that Carol not only didn’t recognize but it left her uncomfortable and feeling out of place.
This is a really powerful memoir. I can’t imagine being 66 and dealing with all the harsh realities that Carol had to face. Trying to afford anything on a fixed income is rough and it’s heartbreaking to read about an elderly lady traumatized by the rat infestations which prompted her to move back to California. The author tells her story courageously, not leaving out any of the details. Most people wouldn’t be able to write about the lowest points in their life, but Carol has succeeded. As a chronically ill person myself, I can’t tell you how worried I am, along with many others who are struggling with the increasing cost of renting a place, especially if you can’t work. Sadly, Carol is just one of many folk who suffer in this way. It makes me feel so grateful for what I have. Carol Denise Mitchell has done a wonderful job with this book, and if she’s reading this I want her to know that she is brave and talented and that I am honored to have read Unstable.