In 2015, The New York Times published the essay “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This” by Mandy Len Catron. It went viral; and its vast popularity led to this lovely memoir, which I must say – even for this reader, who has been married for a thousand years, give or take a few – is an intriguing read. Keep in mind this isn’t a self-help or how-to book; this is a memoir not only about the author’s relationships, both past and current, but also about our fascination as a society with love and all the things that go along with it. I appreciated not only her own personal accounts but also the stories she shared of the relationships of both her parents and her grandparents; and I enjoyed her study of the popular and idealized romances such as those in Cinderella, The Hunger Games, Twilight, etc.
When she writes, “Not everyone who eats is a dietician, but nearly everyone who has loved – which is nearly everyone – presumes to know something about how to do it right,” I’m reminded of that saying ‘take what you need and leave the rest,’ which in the corner of the world where I grew up, was applied to everything from buffets to advice. And I think I feel that way about this memoir in some ways because I’m at a place in my life where a lot of what’s discussed doesn’t apply to me; but because I am in a committed relationship and will always be a believer in love, there were still things the author offered that could stop and make me think. All in all, How to Fall in Love with Anyone is a thoughtful and straightforward look at loving and being loved, and it was a very enjoyable read.
A huge thank-you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.