Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton feels like an intimate conversation with your best friend over a bottle of wine (or two). Dolly’s anecdotes and observations will make you laugh and cry and laugh again. If you were a teenager in the early 2000s, her romantic exploits on MSN will feel cringingly familiar, while the growing pains of adulthood she experiences in her mid twenties, directionless and loveless, is something we’ve all felt at some stage or another - with or without a Rod Stewart themed house party or a proposal from a stranger at JFK airport.
But really, what makes Dolly’s memoirs so brilliant is her rugged honesty. In a world of #couplegoals and braggy impersonal updates - witty satirical examples of which are included in the book… note to self never attend a baby shower with a registry at the White Company - Everything I Know About Love is about how to cope when life gets complicated. Sometimes it really is as simple as making your favourite mac n cheese recipe, but as Dolly finds, there’s a time and a place for serious soul searching too.
While Dolly’s life can feel like a dramatic episode of a reality TV show, her experiences always come back to something raw and vulnerable. With a huge amount self-awareness and humour, the book attempts to set right misconceptions on what boys really want, but more importantly what we ourselves want. It remedies the terrible dates, terrible hangovers and inevitable self-loathing with the feeling of joy you get from true friendship and the realisation that you yourself are enough.
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Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. Published by Fig Tree / Penguin Books, 2018