Wednesday 26 October 2016

Self-Help: No Plus One by Steph Young and Jill Dickman

eBook, €4.68

Anne Marie Scanlon

Published 26/09/2016 | 02:30

No Plus One by Steph Young and Jill Dickman
No Plus One by Steph Young and Jill Dickman

'Buying lingerie felt pointless as I didn't have a man to wear it for." If that isn't a depressing sentence, I don't know what is. No Plus One: What to do when life isn't a Romantic Comedy starts out well with the author describing her gradual break from Mormonism.

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Later she hilariously describes how she was convinced that she and her very first boyfriend would get married and have a family that sang and danced. "We'd be like the Osmonds but less weird."

However, there are two authors and despite this the book is written in the first person. The self-help genre is one that is based on trust - the reader trusts that the writer is an authority on the subject. Now, plenty of self-improvement manuals have been written by two, or even more, authors, but they usually differentiate themselves in the text. By speaking with one voice Young and Dickman have done themselves and their readers a disservice. They've devalued their authority as their combined experiences become overwhelming when related as happening to one person.

And, I was constantly trying to guess who was speaking - Jill or Steph - which is distracting.

The advice is sound and it will kill you to hear bright young American women say the same thing your Mammy has always said: buck up, dress up and keep your head held high. And buy lingerie just because it's nice to wear.

The author(s) realise(s) as much, which is certainly a step in the right direction.

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