Book Review: ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton


 I knew I wanted to read Dolly’s book the moment it was announced.

There was no “sell” required. I adore Dolly Alderton and I don’t say that lightly. She is one of my favourite writers, journalists, joke makers, truth tellers, and one half of everyone’s favourite podcast show, The High Low. If there was anything I didn’t already know about Dolly I wanted to know it immediately.

So I asked my favourite book store if they would very kindly (I think my exact words were “this book means so much to me even though I’ve never read it”) order in a copy. I decided it would be unwise to get into an argument with them as to why they didn’t already have it because who knows what other melodramatic book requests I’ll have in the future.

Everything I Know About Love is Dolly’s first book, but at only 29 year’s old she’s been a darling of the British media scene for almost a decade; as a dating columnist for the Sunday Times, a freelance writer, co-host of The High Low and story producer on Made In Chelsea.

This book is a memoir about Dolly’s relationship with and understanding of love, told in chronological order from her early teenage years to her late twenties. But instead of focusing on what this book is about, I’ll just tell you how it made me feel.

It made me want to listen to Joni Mitchell’s album Blue. It made me want to write a list of “The Most Annoying Things People Say” like Dolly did on page 104. It made me want to write down the recipes that have shaped my short life. It made me think about that moment when you move on from the fantasy of “when I grow up”, and realize you’re there. You’ve arrived. It made me wonder if Dolly embarked on such outrageously chaotic adventures just so she would have enough material to show off her story-telling skills. It made me think Dolly Alderton has lived a thousand lives. It made me snort with laughter. It made me smile to myself. And it made me cry with the kind of sadness that makes your chest hurt.

Dolly’s honesty and remarkable self-awareness will affect you.

It will encourage you to take risks and be reckless while you’ve still got time. It will inspire you to inject a little romance into your female friendships because they’re the greatest love you’ll ever know. It will make you realise that for all the ways our twenties differ from our neighbours, they are also familiar and universal in the most comforting way.

There were parts of the book that weren’t necessary for me. But I’m not going to say what they were because you’ll have your own answer for this and I don’t want to inflict mine on you.

In short. Read it.

And when you do, when you reach that very first blank page with only the words “For Florence Kleiner”. Remember her name okay?

Header image by The Twenties Club