If you’ve ever read articles about love and dating, chances are you’ve already come across Dolly Alderton.
She’s a popular London-based columnist, journalist, director, podcaster and now author of her memoir, Everything I Know About Love.
I’m always intrigued by people who write a memoir before they have even hit 30 – it has always seemed a bit self-indulgent in the past – but Dolly has plenty of life experience to share – and she does so in an open, warm, funny, often heartbreaking, style that, in my opinion, crosses generational boundaries.
Here’s the blurb:
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 debut 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.
Once I started reading, it felt a bit like I’d fallen down the rabbit hole into a world very different from my own but one that was completely immersive (and hard to get out of).
Told in a mixture of stories and anecdotes, lists and vignettes, at times I found her style a bit chaotic – maybe a reflection of her life at that time? – and the inclusion of recipes felt a bit random; like she was simply jumping on the bandwagon.
There was definitely a story arc, of sorts. I won’t say ‘coming of age’ because that seems patronising but as Dolly shares her many and varied experiences with love, sex, friendship, family, alcohol, drugs, work and play, life lessons seem to be learned – although perhaps not immediately.
It is something of a rollercoaster read – and when she dipped I felt genuinely sad for her – but her empowering final chapter left me feeling really positive about her journey.
My rating: Four stars.
With thanks to Penguin Books (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.