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Publisher's Summary

'Heartbreak does not seem to be a brand of grief we respect. And so we are left in the middle of the ocean, floating in a dinghy with no anchor, while the world waits for us to be okay again.'

Claire has returned from London to the dust and familiarity of her childhood home, only to realise something is wrong with her partner Maggie. 

Patrick is a lonely uni student, until he meets Caitlin - but does she feel as connected as he does? 

Ana is happily married with three children. Then, one night, she falls in love with someone else. 

Based on three true stories, Heartsick is a compelling narrative nonfiction account of the many lows and occasional surprising highs of heartbreak. Bruising, beautiful, achingly specific but wholeheartedly universal, it reminds us that emotional pain can make us as it breaks us and that storytelling has the ultimate healing power. 

©2021 Jessie Stephens (P)2021 Macmillan Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"Thought-provoking, highly original and beautifully nuanced. Jessie Stephens' journalistic skill shines as she weaves together true stories with a narrative as compelling as any novel." (Jane Harper)

"A remarkable longform journalism exploration of the human heart and how it breaks. Original, meticulous, marvellous. Stephens has such a handle on heartbreak here that you'd be forgiven for thinking she's had hers broken hundreds of times. But, of course, just once is more than enough for anyone. Dive in, soak up every word, and remember what it felt like to ache with the glorious sick." (Trent Dalton)

"Full of empathy and grippingly told, this is a book for anyone who has suffered a broken heart. Jessie Stephens perfectly captures the thrill of love, as well as the agony that sometimes follows. You'll care desperately for all these people, in all their damage and hope." (Richard Glover)

What listeners say about Heartsick

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Narrating needed more emotion

I really quite enjoyed the book because I thought the concept was different to anything I have ever read before. I know that the author was the narrator which I usually love but in this case she was just so monotone and miserable sounding all the time. There were no peaks and troughs and while I understand the book is about being heartsick, not every single chapter was morose so it really needed to be read with more emotion.

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Loved it!

Absolutely loved this audio book and could not stop listening. Beautiful storytelling. Highly recommend this!

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Really enjoyed this!

I was a little confused by the changing of people so regularly- but got used to it.
Jessie does a great job reading her own work.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic!

This book is absolutely fantastic. All 3 stories are captivating in different ways and I found myself totally hooked. Raced through it. This is definitely worth listening to!

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Thank you Jessie

I loved this book - finished over a weekend , it made me feel seen and understand myself more .
I highly recommend to anyone who has experienced heart break.

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Breakthrough

Thank you Jesse Stephens for writing a beautiful , yet heart breaking book, and narrating it too. Your voice is like the rain on warm summers eve.

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Magnificent, emotional, raw, real.

Beautifully written and engaging, I became completely involved and invested in the lives of the characters. Hands down, the best book I've found in years.

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Didn’t love it

I skipped through it a bit to hurry the stories along; only stuck with it to see what happened to Ana. Thought perhaps a professional narrator would have helped provide a better delivery of the stories.

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YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO THIS!

This is THE most incredible book! Thought provoking, honest, insightful. I’m already listening to it again!!!

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Unlike anything else I've ever read.

Reading stories that are true but in the style of fiction was really enjoyable.

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  • Christina
  • 12-04-2021

Must listen for all human beings

Beautifully written examples of the human experience, that so often get washed over. It reminds you that we are all vulnerable and have so many things in common with each other. That, even if the circumstances aren’t the same, the feelings are real. I would highly recommend this book!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-2021

Heartbreakingly beautiful

It’s a difficult job to write a book where you know it’s going to end badly but you’re still desperate to find out how and why. This book captures the feeling of heartbreak on 3 different spectrums but in a completely unifying way. It’s breathtaking and intelligent. A bloody good book!

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  • vanessa
  • 05-04-2021

A wonderful and unique book

I absolutely loved this book and unexpectedly related to parts of each character’s story. Who would have thought that such a universal experience would make for such a unique book. I guess no one thought to write about like this it until Jessie Stephens did, so brilliantly.

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