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Busy Being Free: A Lifelong Romantic is Seduced by Solitude

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Refreshing to read about a women in her 40s who is still living and not just surviving with a life based entirely around other’s needs. e. talking about her husband’s obsession with a Kanye West song or her toyboy being ridiculously cool) just annoyed me. For Forrest, who remains the primary carer for her and her ex-husband’s young daughter, freedom means feeling in control of her body and sexuality, regaining the sense of herself that for decades she cast aside in pursuit of romantic obsession. I think she might be a genius'
Sophie Heawood, author of The Hungover Games

'I've really never read about sex and been so sharply reminded about how much it is tied up with the fundamentals of being a woman'
Minnie Driver

From the author of Your Voice in My Head and Royals comes a beautiful, breath-taking, unputdownable memoir about love and heartbreak, sex and celibacy, growing up and starting again.

I did an English degree and especially enjoy poetic writing on topics that resonate with me such as this one, but the context in which these words were used (i. Beautiful' Nigella Lawson'I adored it' Dolly Alderton'Wonderful' Lisa Taddeo'Intoxicating' Abi MorganWhat happens when your story doesn't end the way you thought it would? At times I laughed out loud but I also nearly gave up on the book two or three times because the name dropping and superfluous vocabulary became irritating. Solitude is not a bad thing - it forces introspection and reflection, and gives the opportunity for one to find what they really want (need?Her writing hums with life, honesty and intelligence and underneath the romance and red carpets is loneliness and vulnerability. Because someone who is that crazy, someone who takes beyond their fair share with their broken energy, cannot be the one to tell you you no longer exist. Far worse, there is an offensive and needless attempt at humour in which Forrest equates muting a WhatsApp conversation but still checking for messages with trying to “shield myself from temptation” from snacking on a plate of chips by covering it with a napkin: “The paper-towel burka quickly lifted”.

But it becomes clear as the book progresses that Trump is a convenient peg on which to hang this retreat from intimacy. The main thing I respect about this book is the raw honesty and beauty emanating from literally feeling free enough to share her story in exactly the way she wanted to. Reading Busy Being Free isn’t like reading at all, in the sense that you will never look at how many pages you have left, or wonder whether this was the page you got stuck on last night before sleep.So it feels so familiar and cozy eg I started reading the sample and got furious trying to work out how to read the full book. Sexual confidence is one thing, and admirable, but reviewing your whole life in terms of how disruptively irresistible you've been just feels really vain, not to mention limited in terms of what insight it can bring. What follows is a stunning account of solitude and romance, grief, marriage and divorce, and a candid look at the paths we take when life doesn’t turn out quite how we expected it would. By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file.

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