This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire

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This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire

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Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Stories of love and loss from around the globe, this is one to dip into when you want a lift
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Arrow
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1784755164

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Love is love, but at the same time love is changing, the way we find it, the way we express it, the way we walk away from things. You can change a Facebook status and tell the entire world the ins and outs of your relationship, you can meet people online, you can conduct long distance relationships in much more real time than in the past when you had to rely on the postman to deliver your heartfelt, handwritten note. This book, a compilation of letters and other contributions, explores what love is in the 21st century. It's certainly international – there were 15,000 submissions from over 100 countries – and it's also touching, funny, frustrating and all those other things.

This book came about when the author, a film maker and YouTuber, asked his audience a number of questions, like what they would say to an ex if they could say anything or what single word or image sums up their love life. What would they put in a thank you note to their partner? How has technology changed their relationship? This book is their responses to these questions. The book is a true mix: short snappy answers, long winded replies. Each one has the country it came from, some have names, some are left anonymous. There's a bit of narrative to knit it all together, but for the most part it is an audience participation exercise.

I would class this as a bedside book, the sort you dip into for a few pages before bedtime. The stories are interesting but some more so than others, and some are more touching or entertaining than others. They are all personal and as we all know, people's stories matter the most to people they involve. If you're on the periphery they might strike a cord but they can be hit or miss. Some are a little ordinary, a little So what?. Last night at dinner, we played rock paper scissors. I fell a little bit more in love with him when, over nearly a dozen attempts, we matched each other on every single draw. To me that was love, we were so in sync and even when we tried to outsmart the other person, we ended up just putting out the same as them. This morning we're still laughing about it, but when I try to put in on to paper I can see that no one else will get it. Even if you're smiling because it has happened to you, I can't put into words exactly how it made me feel last night. Feelings are pretty hard to capture, but the writers in this book do a pretty good job of trying.

I read this over a few weeks, which I think is a good way to do it, and some of the lines still stick with me. I love the girl who writes You asked me to marry you and I said yes… thank you for asking. I also loved the short snippet where someone, in response to the technology question, mentioned that feeling texting the love of their life only to have them read the message 6 days later. I would add to that the feeling of messaging someone, having them read it (Whatsapp's two blue ticks have a lot to answer for!) and then being left waiting, and waiting for a reply while inside you're screaming I know you've seen it, just reply already. And I think we can all identify with the gleeful discovery that your ex has got fat/lost their hair/whatever you can smirk at. As they say, karma's only a bitch if you are, and as they're your ex, chances are they're not in your good book.

The blurb on the front says this is tender and beautiful. I would choose a different adjective and say it's a fun book. It's hard to say how I would have viewed it in my relentlessly single days, but as a newlywed it certainly gave me some ideas of cute phrases to put in his birthday card later this month, so let's go with that, and a big thank you to the publishers for sending us a copy to review. Whether you are out there looking for love, or happy as you are, however that may be, our Lifestyle section has book for every occasion, so check it out.

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Buy This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire at


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