New Statesman's Best Books of the Year, 2018 Mail on Sunday, Books of the Year, 2018
We plan, as the old proverb says, and God laughs. But most of us don't find it all that funny when things go wrong. Most of us want love, a nice home, good work, and happy children. Many of us grew up with parents who made these things look relatively easy and assumed we would get them, too. So what do you do if you don't? What do you do when you feel you've messed it all up and your friends seem to be doing just fine? For Christina Patterson, it was her job as a journalist that kept her going through the ups and downs of life. And then she lost that, too. Dreaming of revenge and irritated by self-help books, she decided to do the kind of interviews she had never done before. The resulting conversations are surprising, touching and often funny. There's Ken, the first person to be publicly fired from a FTSE-100 board. There's Winston, who fell through a ceiling onto a purple coffin. There's Louise, whose baby was seriously ill, but who still worried about being fat. And through it all, there's Christina, eating far too many crisps as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life.
The Art of Not Falling Apart is a joyous, moving and sometimes shockingly honest celebration of life as an adventure, one where you ditch your expectations, raise a glass and prepare for a rocky ride.