If Sally Rooney wrote nonfiction you'd have Heartsick - three interwoven stories of the ways love can bruise, break and build us, from a much-loved Mamamia writer and an exciting new nonfiction voice.
'Thought-provoking, highly original and beautifully nuanced. Jessie Stephens' journalistic skill shines as she weaves together true stories with a narrative as compelling as any novel.' Jane Harper 'Heartbreak does not seem to be a brand of grief we respect. And so we are left in the middle of the ocean, floating in a dinghy with no anchor, while the world waits for us to be okay again.' Claire has returned from London to the dust and familiarity of her childhood home, only to realise something is wrong with her partner Maggie. Patrick is a lonely uni student, until he meets Caitlin - but does she feel as connected as he does? Ana is happily married with three children. Then, one night, she falls in love with someone else. Based on three true stories, Heartsick is a compelling narrative nonfiction account of the many lows and occasional surprising highs of heartbreak. Bruising, beautiful, achingly specific but wholeheartedly universal, it reminds us that emotional pain can make us as it breaks us, and that storytelling has the ultimate healing power. Praise for Heartsick 'A remarkable longform journalism exploration of the human heart and how it breaks. Original, meticulous, marvellous. Stephens has such a handle on heartbreak here that you'd be forgiven for thinking she's had hers broken hundreds of times. But, of course, just once is more than enough for anyone. Dive in, soak up every word, and remember what it felt like to ache with the glorious sick.' Trent Dalton 'Full of empathy and grippingly told, this is a book for anyone who has suffered a broken heart. Jessie Stephens perfectly captures the thrill of love, as well as the agony that sometimes follows. You'll care desperately for all these people, in all their damage and hope.' Richard Glover 'This book is a delight. Stephens has written a compulsive, utterly endearing thing about that most human of struggles: heartache. It is Sally Rooney's Normal People meets Louis Theroux. What Heartsick does for us all, because its core is universal, is reveal the true nature of love in astonishing detail. The precision will grip you. Stephens shows us, too, that we are not alone. And that is a gift.' Rick Morton 'Unflinching, perceptive and inquisitive - all the things Jessie Stephens does best - Heartsick is a window into another person's soul, with permission to read the inside of their heart. In its pages, Heartsick delivers what every broken-hearted person needs, the ability to see themselves in others who have walked this path before them. With this book, Jessie Stephens has just established herself as a major player in the Australian literary scene. A stunning debut.' Sally Hepworth 'Heartsick is heartbreak close up - a magnifying glass that shows us the beating muscle of heartache. It reminded me that the closer a writer gets, the more universal the story becomes. I just loved this book. I hope you will too.' Sophie Hardcastle