Heartsick unpacks the destruction of love by following the true stories of three lives altered by a major heartbreak.
I wrote this book for the person who doesn't want to be told that this too shall pass. Not yet. Who wants to sit with it. And see it for what it is. Who wants to know they're not alone. That their pain is at once unique and universal. Belonging to them and everyone.
When we're thrown into the chaos of heartsickness, we focus so much on the end. The fact we are now unloved seems so much more important than the reality that we once were.
This book was born in the hours I've waited for men to message me back and who never did. . .
In the years full of almost-relationships, I thought, I cannot handle another rejection," and then found myself turned down by someone I wasn't even sure I liked. I wrote this book because I know what it is to feel fundamentally unlovable. I knew when I was looking for Ana, Patrick, and Claire that their stories had to be true, because within them would be nuances I'd never noticed before and realities I couldn't have invented. I didn't want to be limited by what I happened to know about love and loss. I wanted to learn from people as I wrote, injecting wisdom from different places and genders and ages into this book.
Weaving together these three true stories, Jessie Stephens captures the painful but wholeheartedly universal experience of heartbreak. Deeply relatable, addictive to the very last page, and powerfully human, Heartsick reminds us that emotional pain can make us as it breaks us and that storytelling has the ultimate healing power.
In the solitude that reading a book demands, one is forced to reflect on one's own life. After all, every time we explore others, we're mostly just exploring ourselves.
These are their stories - Ana's and Patrick's and Claire's. But it is also my story and our story. I trust within it you will find echoes of yourself.
Jessie Stephens is a Sydney-based writer and podcaster, with a Master's degree in History and Gender Studies. She's the assistant head of content at Mamamia and co-host of the podcast Mamamia Out Loud . She also hosts Mamamia's True Crime Conversations and Book Club podcasts, where she's had the pleasure of interviewing some of her favorite authors. Heartsick is her first book.