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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Today I sat on a bench facing the sea, the one where I waited for L to be born, and sobbed my heart out. I don't know if I'll ever recover.

This note was written on 9th November 2017. As the seagulls squawked overhead and the sun dipped into the sea, Alexandra Heminsley's world was turning inside out. 

She'd just been told her then-husband was going to transition. The revelation threatened to shatter their brand new, still fragile, family. 

But this vertiginous moment represented only the latest in a series of events that had left Alex feeling more and more dissociated from her own body, turning her into a seemingly unreliable narrator of her own reality. 

Some Body to Love is Alex's profoundly open-hearted memoir about losing her husband but gaining a best friend and together bringing up a baby in a changing world. Its exploration of what it means to have a human body, to feel connected or severed from it and how we might learn to accept our own, makes it a vital and inspiring contribution to some of the most complex and heated conversations of our times.

©2021 Alexandra Herminsley (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Some Body to Love

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Simply put, superb.

I love Alexandra Hemingsley's 'Running like A Girl', so I pre-ordered this. I can't express how much it has spoken to me and how much it means to me. From the struggle with fertility (no spoilers here), and sexual assault, to her relationship with her co-parent, she views it all through the lens of her body. I am entirely pro trans rights, but have struggled at times to articulate this, especially to women in different generations to me. Hemingsley's careful, thoughtful analysis, drawing on her own experience, lays bare the experience of becoming and being a woman and how one chooses to represent themselves.

I am a lawyer, so reading about Hemingsley's experience with the criminal court system was equally elucidating. Thoughout the book, she does not shy away from her white privilege and considers this in line with each of her experiences, noting that the body positivity movement has in many ways been appropriated by white women. She highlights that it should not be confused with the frustrating images of slim white women on instagram looking 'perfect in their imperfections'. I could talk all day about this book, and will do with the people in my life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • LT
  • 19-08-21

Onwards

I need to listen to this book every day. Truly insightful and a balm for life. Thank you Alexandra, for your story, for your strength.

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So much more than I thought it would be!

Really excellent, very thought provoking and enjoyable. I knew it centred around the effects of a partner's disclosure of being trans but the book goes way beyond to explore how the author's changing developing relationship with her own body.

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Super powerful, must read. Very moving book

Hemmo describes her relationship with her body and the world whilst also coming to terms with the end of her marriage as her husband transitions to a woman. She speaks so eloquently of how she understands the love in their marriage as enabling her husband to become fully themselves.

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a beautiful story, heartfelt and uplifting

loved hearing this from Alexander 's voice. Great kindness in the telling for anyone that this affected.

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Absolutely adored this book

I rarely write reviews but this book is amazing. It's so well written and such a beautiful honest exploration of the human body and our relationship to it and how, especially for women, that is so moulded by societal expectations, hormones, pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, exercise, mental health, etc. Alexandra's story is interesting, inspiring, raw, heartbreaking.... just all the feels. I sobbed at the end.

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Wonderful!

Beautifully told. I discovered Alexandra through Running Like a Girl and was subsequently inspired to begin open water swimming after reading Leap In. This is another example of her wonderful ability to tell an inspiring and heartwarming tale about her and those around her. I'd recommend this book to anyone. It is told with heart and honesty, thank-you for sharing your story Alexandra.

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Wonderful

What a wonderful story. You can hear the love oozing out of Alexandra’s voice when she talks about her son. Made me start thinking about my body in a new, kinder way.

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Wow

How moving and inspiring. What a windown into a world I knew little about. Thank you for sharing your story x

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Wonderful

Thought provoking, interesting, enjoyable. The best book I've listened to in a long time.