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Happy Never After: why the happiness fairytale is driving us mad (and how I flipped the script)
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Happy Never After: why the happiness fairytale is driving us mad (and how I flipped the script)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Jill Stark was living the dream. She had a coveted job as a senior journalist, she was dating a sports star, and her first book had just become a bestseller. After years of chasing the fairytale ending, she’d finally found it. And then it all fell apart.

Getting her happy-ever-after plunged Jill into the darkest period of her life, forcing her to ask if she’d been sold a li
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 30th 2018 by Scribe Publications
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  192 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Michael Livingston
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a bit disappointing to be honest - I loved High Sobriety and am generally a big fan of Stark. This is a brave and clear book about her struggles with anxiety and depression, but it felt like a slightly mix of shallow research and memoir - having just read Fiona Wright's superbly thoughtful book about her struggles this just felt a bit underwhelming in comparison.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I like Jill Stark. She sounds like someone I could be friends with. She sounds like she could live in my apartment building. I've read some of her writting in The Age. I like memoirs. I love a redemption memoir more than anything - except one read by the author on audio book. So why was this book dissapointing? Rather than feeling like I was following Jill's journey, it felt like a collection of "things I've tried". Some chapters felt like newspaper columns, rather than parts of a narative struc ...more
Leonie Wilson
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookshelf
I was either crying, laughing or learning. And often all three.
I loved it. Just loved it.
Scribe Publications
A moving, insightful analysis of our collective pain and how we can heal. Australia needs this book.
Johan Hari, Author of Lost Connections

Funny, wise, poignant and compelling, Happy Never After is a brilliant intersection between searing personal experience and the wisdom of the elders: nothing brings us closer to despair than the relentless pursuit of our own happiness.
Hugh Mackay, Author of The Good Life

Faced with the crippling paralysis that comes with anxiety and depression, Jill Stark doesn
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jill picks up where Johann Hari left off with Lost Connections. A very personal story of anxiety and depression, that illuminates how it it takes a village to keep an individual emotionally and mentally well; that in fact, it is all about connection, and the impacts of what happens when we are disconnected in the modern world.
Wendy Smith
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first review and I have been prompted by the transforming force of wisdom in this book for those amongst us who seek connection and the courage to live with our imperfections.

Jill Stark is an Australian journalist living and working in Melbourne - in my 'hood in fact which was an enjoyable bonus to recognise local landmarks and places - this is her second memoir and deals with a crisis in her life when she ostensibly 'had it all', a fantastic job, the AFL footballer boyfriend and the
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a powerful memoir that explores the author's experiences as she works towards healing and recovery following a breakdown and a lifetime of depression and anxiety. The author's journalistic background is apparent as she weaves her own narrative with research and interviews about how modern life sells an unrealistic picture of 'happiness' which is rarely achievable and instead creates disillusionment and disconnection.

The author gives a frank and raw account of her breakdown and her illnes
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For me, Jill Stark’s book was the standout of the year – to the point where I’m actually re-reading it in audio book form, immensely enjoying the sound of her dulcet Scotstralian tones.

From a societal perspective, Stark had it all. She’d reached what she thought was the pinnacle of her career, publishing a book (High Sobriety about her year off alcohol, also very good) which became a bestseller. Her job as Health Reporter at Melbourne newspaper The Age brought her satisfaction. She had bought an
Ellen McMahon
I love Stark's writing and am a big fan of her work, however this wasn't my favourite. The format is the same as High Sobriety (which I loved), investigative research seamlessly entwined with personal anecdotes/memoir of Stark's own experiences with anxiety. From a research perspective, the book offers a really great, introductory overview of many of the issues surrounding anxiety in today's society, it just unfortunately didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. If you follow the news and ...more
Naomi Raison
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have found this book very useful so I will probably read it again.I think readers would benefit by there being an index.Ms Stark discussed people and ideas that I found very interesting ,thought provoking and Norman Doidge’s work on the brain ,Maslow and the hierarchy of needs ,Marie Kondo and “decluttering” and places like the Girton school with the RULER program .However without an index it is a bit of a hunt to find them again. Another thing:quite early in the book she mentioned ...more
Mrs Lisa Proctor
Great loved this book!

Loved this book because as a mother of a teenage daughter it just seemed to echo challenges that young people are increasingly facing. Jill Stark talks with a refreshing honesty about feelings that i suspect are being bottled up around the western world in their millions. A great opportunity to observe somebody else's challenges in grappling with shame, angst, feelings of inadequacy and the challenges that accompany living in the first world in the 21st century whilst refle
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a warts and all tale of modern life, wrestling inner demons and ultimately learning how to be compassionate to oneself. Jill's memoir is courageous, thought-provoking, honest and accessible. She has thoroughly researched her subject, interviewing world-leading experts as well as regular people to help her understand and navigate her own state of mind. I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling and realistic personal take on anxiety and the uplifting journey to acceptance, connection and self l ...more
Sherry Mackay
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gave me a fair bit to chew on. Funny how I’ve been reading a few books lately that all go on about the terrors of the net and social media. I do agree with a lot of it tho. I felt the author kept the reader away by giving few details of her own breakdown and situation. It was a much more impersonal book than I thought it would be. I guess I expected a more personal journey. I think many readers would be put off by its journalistic and somewhat academic approach. I did get some worth ou ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trying to read a little wider than I usually do, and this was a good way to do so.

I enjoyed reading this, and it gave me lots of things to think about. Even if you don't suffer from anxiety, it has a lot to say about living life in this day and age, and promotes general self-care, mental wellbeing. A good mix of personal story and evidence based discussion.
Sonia Nair
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Picking up where her debut bestseller High Sobriety left off, journalist and author Jill Stark’s Happy Never After charts the period from her breakdown in October 2014 to her ensuing road to recovery.

Read the rest of my review on Books+Publishing here:
Rachael Bettiens
As someone with personal experience living with Anxiety, I was anticipating feeling a lot of feels reading this. I laughed as often as I cried, and I did a lot of both. Must read for anyone who has either lived with mental health issues or knows someone who has or does - So, basically everyone.

Read. It.
Mary Laffner
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved every illuminating page of this inspiring insight moving deeply helpful relevant memoir!
Could not put it down and devoured it in 2 days!

What a gift to us all!

Everyone needs to read this book! Now more than ever! And that’s what I’ve been telling all my friends!

But my daughter is reading it next so get your own copy!
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook and it was narrated by the author. Her voice is lovely. I think she may have been preaching to the converted here. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was all the journalistic crap. I wanted to hear her voice, not ANOTHER rehashing of the Jam Study.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! It spoke to me on so many levels and I think there really is something for everyone in here, whether you suffer from anxiety or not. Definitely look forward to giving it a second read.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read for anyone feeling overwhelmed or possibly suffering from anxiety. I got so much out of it!
Kira Halpin
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cried and I laughed and I felt parts spoke to me and those around me. Very insightful and informative and very raw in parts. Loved this book!
rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2018
Kimbra Spurgin
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Feb 06, 2019
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Feb 04, 2019
Tim Goldfinch
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Oct 13, 2018
Genevieve Kelly
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Aug 16, 2018
Laura McDougall
rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2018
Laura Honing
rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2018
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Jill Stark was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and now calls Melbourne, Australia home.
She is the author of two books, and is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning two decades.
Happy Never After: Why The Happiness Fairytale Is Driving Us Mad (And How I Flipped The Script) is a forensic examination of our relentless pursuit of happiness in an age of anxiety.
Her first book, High Sobriety: My