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The Impossible Dream: read a sample chapter from Happy Never After by Jill Stark

July 31, 2018

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Imagine this: everything you’ve ever wanted your entire life, now in the palms of your hands, happening in real-time. Every goal, desire, wish, affirmation, dream – all fulfilled. Sounds pretty perfect, right?

This was Jill Stark’s life. By all appearances, she was living the dream: working a highly-coveted job as a senior journalist, dating a sports star, and a best-selling book freshly published and selling like hot-cakes. For years, she had chased her fairy-tale ending, and now she finally had it – but it wasn’t at all what she thought it would be.

Much to Jill’s confusion, getting her happily-ever-after plunged her into the darkest period of her life. Why wasn’t she happy? She had everything that society told her she needed to be content, yet she was miserable. This breakdown led Jill to reflect on the nature of modern happiness, begging the question – is our relentless pursuit of happiness actually making us miserable?

Happy Never After is a raw and uplifting exploration of our modern, anxious age. Drawing on her own harrowing experiences at the peak of her illness, Jill bravely and boldly shares the lessons she learnt through her process of recovery, forcing readers to question their preconceived idea of what happiness truly is, and encouraging us all to ‘flip the script.’

The book deals with loaded themes, statistics, and studies about mental health – themes that are so important to discuss in a time where, as Jill makes clear, we are as anxious and depressed as ever. Jill is incredibly intelligent and an excellent writer, effortlessly weaving studies, reports and statistics into her personal anecdotes in such a way that reads as if you are talking to an old friend – and a funny friend, at that. Jill’s writing is hilarious, and her vibrant and warm energy shines strongly through. Despite having endured so much, Jill is able to joke throughout the book, standing as a testament to her strength and endurance.

Happy Never After is a wealth of knowledge and advice. Broken up into a number of sections, Jill explores a host of themes ranging from social media, child-hood behaviour and achieving a work-life balance, to unpacking how the brain works and questioning the western notion of what it means to be ‘happy.’

Today, when we are constantly bombarded by external stimuli, over-worked and never feeling content, books like Happy Never After are more important than ever. If you’re looking for some self-help advice that is also superbly written and tongue-in-cheek funny, we highly recommend Happy Never After – it’s sure to put a smile on your face!

About the Author:

Jill Stark is an award-winning journalist and author with a career spanning 18 years in both the UK and Australian media. She spent a decade on staff at The Age covering health and social affairs as a senior writer and columnist and now works as a media consultant and freelance writer contributing to ABC Online, SBS Digital and The Saturday Paper.

Her first book, High Sobriety: my year without booze is a best-selling memoir that was long-listed in the Walkley Book of the Year Awards and short-listed in the Kibble Literary Awards. Her second book Happy Never After was published in 2018.

Purchase a copy of Happy Never After here 


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