If you’re doing some last minute book-buying for Christmas gifts (for yourself of course) I fully recommend one of this year’s best selling autobiographies. I pretty much inhaled Lily Allen’s My Thoughts Exactly in two sittings, mostly because I had a mammoth five-hour long hair appointment, but then because I couldn’t put it down the next day. A lot of the book’s more salacious details came out when it was first released – joining the mile high club with Liam Gallagher whilst he was still married to one of All Saints, cheating on her ex-husband with female prostitutes, lots of bad feeling towards her dad, Keith Allen, and some petty BS fights with Cheryl Cole that we’d all forgotten about. There’s a few other juicy morsels, including a snog with Zoe Kravitz, and a whole lot of drugs.
Then there’s the horrific moments, including what must be two of every woman’s worst nightmares – losing a child and having a deranged man break in to your home in the dead of night. It’s heartbreaking that the police then don’t take the latter seriously and shockingly bin all the evidence Lily carefully puts together about her stalker. Hilariously some parts are more thinly veiled than Lily perhaps realises (or who knows, maybe she wants every one to take full stock) like the many mentions of how she pays for everything in her marriage, and how her mum prefers her older sister. And there’s also some frustratingly unexplained bits, such as a family therapy session in Arizona, which I think no one wants to hear the details of, but I’m dying to understand how this came about – who would even suggest such a horrendous thing to everyone, and how would they agree to deal with what comes up? Maybe I’m just projecting my own fears about how that would work with my family. Shudder.
I felt I could really relate to Lily, as someone who is self-destructive and paranoid about people liking her, and at the same time being painfully self aware and forever cringing at her behaviour. She’s mostly sensible in her assessments of what’s happened, whilst also sometimes childishly wallowing in how unfair life is, and is frank and funny about things women go through – childbirth, orgasm struggles, the insane need to please men ahead of your own happiness, the judgments of others for enjoying life to the full, and the ways in which women are so easily torn down for things men wouldn’t be. This is a fantastic memoir, and I love the non-chronological style that works through different themes rather than a ‘this happened and then this happened’ structure. I heart Lily, and side note – I also love the pastel cover design and fully judged the book by it.