The Elegant Art of Falling Apart - Jessica Jones (2011)

There were three things I didn't like about this book and made me hesitant to get into it: the title, the cover and the first 15 pages. Luckily, I persevered and it turned out I liked Jessica, an Australian who lives in London, a lot. It became one of those books that I couldn't stop reading for two days until it ended. It's almost impossible to categorise, which perhaps explains the cover and title weirdness. On the one hand it is Jessica's deeply honest and blow-by-blow account of finding out she had breast cancer and going through the decisions, the treatments, the recovery; somehow, because she is so funny and likeable, you want to go with her every step of the journey. It should be required reading for anyone who is in or knows someone in the same situation: there are even useful lists of 'things I wish I'd known before'. On the other hand, it's also a love story: how after years of putting up with dreadful men, she finds someone who seems wonderful who wants to commit to her - and what happens next. It's a witty and inspiring book about discovering what's important to you, and coming to terms with what life throws at you. What would I have done with the title? Perhaps take the title of chapter one: 'My Life is Almost Perfect'. Scrawled. And for the cover, something beautiful, because this is a book I want to keep. (JB)

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