Our first book of the month is The Elegant Art of Falling Apart by Jessica Jones.
This poignant and beautifully written memoir is a tale of addiction, breast cancer, relationship breakup and emotional breakdown. That said, it is hilariously funny!
The book starts with tales of Jones’ dissolute life as a clubber and fashionista on the London scene. She stumbles from crisis to crisis, grappling with drug and alcohol dependency. At last, victory – she gets into rehab, rebuilds her life and meets the man of her dreams, Nick. Then, disaster – she is diagnosed with breast cancer. This part of the book is filled with great tips for healthy living and fascinating insights into how to cope with an unexpected life crisis.
We root for her as she endures sick-making rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy with attendant baldness and nausea, and we are suitably impressed by the devoted support given by the chivalrous Nick until, out of the blue, he does the dirty and dumps her. And then the story really gets going…
In a no-holds-barred account Jones puts her own weaknesses under the magnifying glass as much as those of her dastardly boyfriend (oh how we love to hate him!) She examines with glaring honesty a topic that, we suspect, we all relate to yet hesitate to admit – the cruel dance of love addiction and love avoidance. It is an eye-opening read for anyone who has been knocked sideways by love’s reversals.
Above all, The Elegant Art of Falling Apart is a tale of friendship in adversity. The author describes a delightful cast of characters that surround her. We couldn’t help but fall in love with these people and their eccentric attempts to rescue their friend when the going gets tough.
Jessica Jones pulls off that rare feat of making us cry and laugh out loud, sometimes on the same page. This is black humour at its best.
Have you read this book? Tell us what you think.