Ilana Estelle: Survival: The Covid Years

Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for Survival: The Covid Years. My review is written with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the blog tour and Red Door Books for my copy of the book.


Ilana Estelle was forty-six when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and then ten years later, she was diagnosed with autism. The journey, from angry, confused child to the ‘real’ her took enormous inner strength and courage. Then the global pandemic struck.

In Survival: The Covid Years, Ilana shares her overwhelming physical and mental struggles within the chaos of the pandemic. She explains how navigating the daily turbulence and ever-changing rules and restrictions impacted her physical, mental, and emotional needs, leaving her feeling out of control and panicked.

Locked down and fearing for her health, and even her life, Ilana turned once again to writing, a process that has helped her cope and reach out beyond life within four walls. Her revealing memoir shows how she learned to cope with stress, anxiety, and on-going self-isolation through Covid, through the healing power of words and with a steely determination to reconnect to the outside world.

By shedding light on her personal challenges through the pandemic, Ilana encourages the reader to explore the thoughts and feelings raised by their own pandemic journey. In this way she aims to unlock future potential for others, enabling them to move on from this enormously difficult time. A must read for anyone wanting to take positive steps after the challenges of Covid-19.


I read and enjoyed Cerebral Palsy: A Story last year, so I was looking forward to reading Ilana Estelle’s thoughts on the pandemic. Survival: The Covid Years is probably more relatable to a wider audience as the pandemic is something we all experienced in some way whereas a disability is not. 

It is clear that the pandemic was a difficult time for the author, particularly in terms of managing the risk of severe illness should she contract Covid-19. As someone who followed the rules but didn’t actively make the decision to shield, it was interesting to hear how this process affected her both mentally and physically. 

Ilana Estelle talks openly about both her physical and mental health and the techniques she uses to manage her health. These ideas are simple to follow and they could be used or adapted by readers who are struggling with their mental health. 

The book is split into short sections and this makes it easy to read and perhaps dip in and out of when necessary. 

Survival: The Covid Years is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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