How We Love: Notes on a Life

Clementine Ford

How We Love: Notes on a Life
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How We Love: Notes on a Life

Clementine Ford

There is love in this place, just like there is love everywhere we care to look for it. There is beauty and there is hope and there is a boy and there is a mother and there is the past and there is the future but most importantly there is the now, and everything that exists between them that has got them from one moment to the next. The now is where we find the golden glow where, for the briefest of moments, the sky rips open and we see what it is we are made of.
Tell me a story, he asked me.
And so I began.


Clementine Ford is a person who has loved deeply, strangely and with curiosity. She is fascinated by love and the multiple ways it makes its home in our hearts and believes that the way we continue to surrender ourselves to love is an act of great faith and bravery.

This tender and lyrical memoir explores love in its many forms, through Clementine’s own experiences. With clear eyes and an open heart, she writes about losing her adored mother far too young, about the pain and confusion of first love - both platonic and romantic - and the joy and heartache of adult love. She writes movingly about the transcendent and transformative journey to motherhood and the similarly monumental path to self-love. ‘We love as children, as friends, as parents and, yes, sometimes as sexual beings, and none of it is more important than the other because all of it shows us who we are.’

How We Love
is heartfelt, funny, confessional, revelatory, compassionate - and essential reading. It shows us to ourselves in moments of unwavering truth and undeniable joy.

Review

There are so many adages running through my head as I try to sum up the latest work of author and commentator Clementine Ford. Mainly though, I have Tina Turner’s words on repeat: what’s love got to do with it? Ford’s latest work, How We Love, is a memoir of sorts and shows the reader that, in fact, love has everything to do with who we are and why we are. Here in this surprising and eloquent book, Ford takes us by the hand and leads us through her own journey of heartbreak, joy and devotion.

Ford describes incidents of passionate love, moments of all-encompassing love and the steadiness of family. Her descriptions of her mother’s illness are heartbreaking. Her accounts of motherhood feel both universal and deeply personal. All these stories are told with such tenacity that I was forced to reflect on my own love stories, my own brand of hope. This is the power of Clementine Ford. She positions herself so firmly and honestly that you have no choice but to contemplate your own life.

We already know that Clementine Ford is bold. She is opinionated. But here in this roll call of her defining moments, she is also kind, persuasive and generous. How We Love also illustrates that the only way to survive love in all its forms is to prioritise self-love, and it’s a timely reminder of the importance of deliberation, humility, and compassion. Readers of other chroniclers of women’s stories such as Claire Bowditch will find a lot to enjoy here.

What’s love but a second-hand emotion? Well, Tina Turner, Clementine Ford shows us through her fierce narrative, that it is, in fact, all we truly own.


Chris Gordon is the programming and events manager for Readings.

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