Flap Copy: In late 2007, Dominique Browning, the editor-in-chief of Conde Nast’s House & Garden, was informed that the magazine had folded-and she was out of a job. Suddenly divested of the income and sense of purpose that had driven her for most of her adult life, Browning panicked. But freed of the incessant pressure to multi-task and perform, she unexpectedly discovered a more meaningful way to live.
Browning’s witty and thoughtful memoir has already touched a chord with reviewers and readers alike. While untold millions are feeling the stress of modern life, Slow Love eloquently reminds us to appreciate what we have-a timely message that we all need to hear.
Review: I’ve read Dominique Browning’s Slow Love Life blog on and off for a few years, and I expected that her memoir would be a lot like it. It didn’t quite strike the same tone for me, which was a little disappointing at first, but I came to appreciate it as its own entity by the end.
Slow Love is distinctly a memoir – a collection of memories and stories as a way of making sense of one’s life. So often, we cannot understand the paths we are on except when looking back at them, and good memoirs do exactly that for the reader (and probably, somewhat, for the writer). Dominique Browning lost her job unexpectedly in 2007, like so many people at that time, and had to face many of her fears head-on: her fears about unemployment, about not being needed, about not getting paid. But also her fears about being alone after her sons had grown, and her fears about facing the dysfunctional relationship she’d been in for many years with a married – legally separated, but still married – man.
The stories surrounding this man, “Stroller” – for how he strolls into and out of her life – are what really set the book apart from the blog for me. Peeking into Slow Love Life, you are more likely to see entries like Go Where the Love Is and Working for a Living vs. Wifing and Moming – entries that engage the reader, ask questions, make recommendations, encourage you to see your own life in the context of finding slow love and a slow life. The book, though, was full of stories about a completely frustrating man which no redeemable qualities that I could find whatsoever, and a woman who kept throwing herself at him when everyone around her was asking “Why aren’t you worth the commitment?” It’s really exhausting to be in that kind of relationship, and it’s really exhausting to read about it.
By the end, I’d been won back over. The chapters about food and gardening, about what makes a house a home, about grown sons wanting the nest to be feathered at their convenience started to become more frequent, probably as in the author’s life, they started to take precedence over a man who refused to fully participate. The final chapter left me feeling pensive over what it really takes to grow up, and how much responsibility we have to making that happen for ourselves – and for others.
Source: Netgalley from the publisher