Monday 29 January 2018

Book Review: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton.

Product details:
Publisher: Fig Tree.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Release date: February 1st 2018.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

 A statuesque blonde with a penchant for prosecco and an absolute adoration of Rod Stewart, journalist Dolly Alderton first came to my attention a couple of years back via a Sunday Times ‘Style’ column, in which she detailed the adventures of her colourful dating life. So wry and engaging is Dolly’s writing style that her column became a firm favourite of mine, so much so that in a newspaper of a whole lot of must-read articles, hers was the first I’d read every week. I just had to know if Dolly and her guy, the Comedian, would live happily ever after, you know. Side note: I had a similar obsession with Ali Harris’s dating column for Company magazine way back when she used to write about her love for Email Boy. Anybody remember that? Well, it just so happens that Ali and her Email Boy are now husband and wife. Dolly and her Comedian, on the other hand, did not live happily ever after.

Sadly, just like her relationship with the Comedian, Dolly’s dating column is no more, but she’s stayed on my radar via her newsletter ‘The Dolly Mail,’ and ‘The High Low,’ the weekly current affairs and pop-culture podcast she co-presents with fellow journalist Pandora Sykes. If you haven’t yet checked out The High Low, then I really recommend that you do. It’s a big favourite of mine (despite unfounded allegations against The Lighthouse Family –Joke!)  

 It’s not an understatement to say that I was mega-excited when I heard Dolly had signed a book deal, a book deal that has garnered, as per The Bookseller, ‘serious film and TV interest’. (Think ‘Girls’. But funnier. With characters you can actually relate to and root for). I’m also glad to report that Dolly’s memoir Everything I Know About Love is a total winner; an honest, heartfelt and very, very funny reflection on life, love, loss and everything else in between.  At its core, Everything I Know About Love is a love letter to friendship, a celebration of Dolly’s close knit circle of friends who have stuck together through everything: good times, bad times, and lots and lots of wild times.

Everything I Know About Love details Dolly’s adventures in life and love from her early days as a MSN Messenger-obsessed teen (Dolly once went on date with a boy she met on MSN Messenger only for that date to end following twelve minutes of mutual insults involving a DVD of Toy Story 2 and a kilt) to her early days in London where life was all about cheap booze, communal living and Rod Stewart-themed house parties. I mean, I wouldn’t describe this as a Rod Stewart-heavy memoir per se, but he’s definitely in there. As he should be.


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