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Life in Pieces by Dawn O’ Porter

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Memoir

By Swirl and Thread

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Life in Pieces by Dawn O’ Porter is published with Harper Collins. Described as ‘a bold, brilliant, and totally hilarious book about life in lockdown’Life in Pieces captures a sense of this bizarre world we now find ourselves inhabiting. Very much a book for its time, Dawn O’ Porter really opens herself up to criticism and, no doubt scorn, as she reveals the chaos of her life in recent months. She writes about her personal life as she grieves for her very close friend Caroline Flack and how she copes with being locked in with her two small boys, Art and Valentine, and her husband, Chris O’Dowd.

“I went from being a working mother with high demands and deadlines to suddenly being a full-time stay-at-home mum. I tackled this with varying levels of success. I had to step up my mum game, protect my kids from my grief, be emotionally available for my husband and basically pull my shit together way sooner than I think was right.”

Dawn O’ Porter is known to us all for her no-holds-barred approach to broadcasting with her documentaries famed for their immersive nature. Dawn is never afraid to let the public see her for who she truly is lending to the appeal for many fans. Dawn is Dawn. Early 2020, Dawn’s life came crashing down when she got the tragic news of the death of Caroline Flack on February 15th. Dawn made the journey to the UK for the funeral and was back in the US before flights were impacted. The seismic changes in her life were to have a huge impact on Dawn. Having made a decision to share her life in a diary form through the Patreon platform, she started to recount her days to her many readers. Out of these personal writings a book was born.

Life in Pieces is a very personal insight into Dawn’s world as everything starts to come crashing down. Her kids are her world but Dawn had never experienced being in their company 24/7. With no time to fully embrace and deal with the grief that overshadowed her on a daily basis, Dawn immersed herself in feeding her family, getting through each day as best she could. The pages are packed with her straight-talking approach to life, insights into her younger years and her relationship with food and alcohol.

From March 2020 to July 2020, Life in Pieces is a snapshot of life in lockdown. With an unfiltered honesty, Dawn writes candidly about bodily fluids, from both animals and children, her increasing dependence on alcohol and her relationship with Chris and her family. She also writes about the racial unrest in LA and her fears for the future. Some may regard Dawn O’ Porter’s book as self-indulgent, others may be concerned about her thoughts on drugs and tequila. It is a book that will polarise some and bring a sense of togetherness to others. 2020 is tough for us all. We all need to use whatever coping mechanisms we can to get us through the daily barrage of frightening statistics and shocking scenes we see on all media. When Dawn O’ Porter started this lockdown diary, I expect she never thought that we would all still be here in the midst of another wave of fear as Covid19 continues to rule our lives.

Life in Pieces may be too raw for some and this I can completely understand. While reading the book what struck me most was Dawn O’ Porter’s grief for Caroline Flack. Her pain is very evident throughout the pages and I genuinely hope that publishing this book brought some peace to Dawn O’ Porter.

Life in Pieces is a candid and very personal account, a reflective look at these strange days we now live in, through the eyes of a mother, wife and friend, through the eyes of the wonderfully honest and outspoken Dawn O’ Porter.

“From reflections on grief and therapy, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, quitting Twitter and ‘quarantine belly’, Dawn shares a daily diary of a year we’ll all remember forever – told with her trademark frankness and zeitgeisty eye.”
– Kimberley Young, executive publisher for HarperFiction via The Bookseller

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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