About The Book
A spot-on, wildly funny and sometimes heart-breaking book about growing up, growing older and navigating all kinds of love along the way
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
Glittering, with wit and insight, heart and humour, Dolly Alderton’s powerful début weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age – while making you laugh until you fall over. Everything I know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.
I am a HUGE fan of Dolly Alderton, I first discovered her writing via her dating column in The Sunday Times Style Magazine and I used to pour over it every week (I still haven’t forgiven my husband for interrupting me reading her final column to tell me something about a football match he was watching – spoiler alert, somebody kicked a ball at a net). It used to make me laugh, it used to make me cry and it used to make think. When I saw that she had written a memoir titled, Everything I Know About Love, I knew I had to read it.
I was a little worried at the beginning as I realised that I am a little older than Dolly, have had a vastly different upbringing, didn’t battle my way through my 20s dating and I have never been on Tinder in my life. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to relate but I soon realised that Everything I Know About Love is far-reaching and all-encompassing and, no matter your age or relationship situation is an entirely relatable read.
This is a hugely brave book, Dolly is unapologetically honest about her life, the mistakes she has made, the decisions that she has come to, the paths that she has taken and the ones she has ignored. I was blown away by the sincerity of her writing and felt like a voyeur at times peeking into her innermost thoughts and fears.
There are laugh out loud moments where I cackled – her observations of modern life, friendships, becoming an adult, growing up (two very different things) and the nuances of modern life are perfectly judged. I defy anybody who has been invited on a hen weekend or baby shower to not nod along and laugh at the satirical e-mails she has created (I am pretty sure that the invitation to celebrate with a bride to be is one that I have received before). It is rare to read something that I felt spoke to me and made me feel a little less alone. I really felt at times that this book was written for me, some passages felt so personal that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it.
Then, there are moments of extreme sadness. Utter despair and heartbreaking incidents that made me sob. Her writing is so wonderful that these events affect you, her friends are your friends too and I felt utterly bereft and inconsolable at times. I loved the bonds that Dolly, Farley, India et al have. There is pure love, support and kicks up the bum when needed.
This is a funny, moving, emotional, insightful, honest, brave and wonderful read. I have highlighted so many passages to re-read at times when I need to feel restored and to remind me to be kind myself. Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books for an advanced copy of Everything I Know About Love in return for an honest review, it was my absolute pleasure.
Everything I Know About Love is published on the 1st February and can be bought here.
3 thoughts on “Book Review: Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton”