If you haven’t read dating columnist and The Times journalism Dolly Alderton’s new book ‘Everything I Know About Love’ then it should be the next thing on your reading list. The autobiographical book navigates through Dolly’s early twenties and includes profound reflections on parties, relationships, break-ups, loss and the importance of female friendship in a comedic yet heart-felt way.
Dolly had a middle class upbringing and grew up in North London, went to Exeter uni and then moved back to Camden with her friends to try and be a free-lance writer. Even though the book is written as an intimate autobiography, there is something very universal to her experiences with growing up that many young women can relate to. Throughout the book she reflects on what she knows about love, something that significantly changes from statements like ‘You’ll feel settled, centred and calm when you fall in love with the right man’ (age 21) to ‘It is no person’s job to be the sole provider of your happiness. Sorry’ (age 28).
For me and many others in this daunting yet exciting phase of becoming an adult, it was nice knowing that I am not alone in facing some of the subjects that Dolly talks about from ending up at a disappointing New Year’s Eve party to struggling with self-love and body image. The book is almost like a perfectly put together collection of thoughts, with longer chapters reflecting on specific memorable moments of Dolly’s life and short funny ones such as the ‘Bad Date Diaries’ series.
Probably the most resonating element of this book is the importance Dolly puts on her female friendships over the years, as she details the highs and lows that she has had with her uni friends and house mates. She sees her friends as the guiding elements in her life when everything else is going wrong and some of the stories she tells about their adventures and strange house parties they end up at sound all too familiar at times.
It’s the type of book that you never want to end, and it causes you to reflect on your own experiences. It gives you the comforting thought that you don’t have to know everything at 21 and there is still a lot of time to figure things out.
This is one of my favorite books and it is so well written, every women in their twenties should read it at least once!