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Honest [Hardcover]

Ulrika Jonsson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Oct 2002
Television presenter Ulrika Jonsson started to write her autobiography at a very troubled time in her life. Her unborn child had been diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening heart condition, and she was facing it alone because the child's father had left her. She had a son by her first marriage to look after, and a string of failed relationships behind her. Seriously depressed, living with a constant barrage of media comment and criticism, she had lost any sense of who she was. Ulrika started to write as a way of trying to understand herself and her life. It took two years to complete.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd; 1st EDITION edition (16 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0283073675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0283073670
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This is one book you can't afford to miss - and it's hard to put down. -- The Sun, May 2003 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Two years ago Ulrika Jonsson's life hit rock bottom. She was facing a situation every parent dreads - her unborn child had been diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening heart condition - and she was facing it alone because the child's father had left her. She had a son by her first marriage to look after, and a string of failed relationships behind her. Seriously depressed, living with a constant barrage of media comment and criticism, she had lost any sense of who she was. As a way of trying to understand herself and her life, Ulrika started to write. It was a difficult, sometimes humiliating experience as she faced up to past mistakes. Two years later she has finished an extremely open and brave memoir. If you had preconceptions about Ulrika, this book will change them. If you had questions, this book will answer them. Honest is the real Ulrika - funny, warm, intelligent and, above all, honest. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I originally bought and read this when it was released in hardcover nearly five years ago, but as I am re-reading it, I decided she deserved a review.

I didn't like Ulrika; I thought she was an unfaithful, talentless attention seeker. However, after reading the book [and now I am a little bit older] I can finally see her as a woman who's had a tough life, made some mistakes but has lived to tell the tale. For an autobiography, it's very well written which is a bit of a novelty in this day and age [I'd like to think she didn't use a ghostwriter].

Ulrika writes in a very matter of fact manner. She's been used and abused by men, [and life in general] and yet she's no victim.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Complex 16 May 2003
I'm just finishing the book now and have found it to be a real page-turner. From her sad, rather neglected childhood, the book charts her story, through her arrival in England as a foreigner to her rise as an overwhelmingly successful television personality who has had her own shows and presented Eurovision and the Royal Variety Show.
What makes this story so interesting though, is not the steep climb in her professional life, but more the ups and downs and vulnerabilities of her personal life where she paints herself at turns as both villainous adulteress and victim. This is an incredible book and I have enjoyed it thoroughly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm suddenly a fan! 24 Sep 2013
By Saoirse
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was never that keen on Ulrika Jonsson but bought this as an 'emergency autobio' for holiday to add something different to my pile of suspense related books.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and now find myself liking her! I think she was fairly honest in this book, she doesn't paint herself as being perfect by any means- we hear all of her faults and make a decision to like/dislike.

I've recommended this to a few friends who have since borrowed it and they all liked it- and her!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Honest 31 Aug 2011
By Jackie
Read about this book in a sunday newspaper. Thought I'd have a read. I like true stories and accounts of peoples lives. Very interesting. Don't judge people by what you see on tv.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Honestly 19 July 2005
Ulrika Jonsson is one of those celebrities mainly known on her own territory -- namely, the U.K. That gives American readers of her autobiography, "Honest," a chance to take her as she is, without tabloids and rumors tainting it. Unfortunately, "Honest" as she is, the portrait she paints is not flattering at all.

She was born into a troubled Swedish family that disintegrated, mainly because of her father's philandering -- a trait that she began copying when she got married. Though her husband forgave her, and they soon had a son, Ulrika dumped him in favor of a muscle-bound Gladiator.

As this was going on, Ulrika's star was rising in the world, resulting in a weathergirl job, commercials, hostings and her own show. But she was in a series of bad relationships, with a crazed footballer, a cold-hearted German, and Britain's most famous coach. Then she found that her unborn daughter Bo had a serious heart defect that might kill her.

The final eighth of the book is perhaps the most compelling -- Ulrika struggling to be a single mom, without emotional support, while her daughter is undergoing one surgery after another. Despite the lackluster prose of her biography, it's a moving story that gives the heartstrings a little tug.

Unfortunately, the decisions that led her to that problem make Ulrika look dim and selfish. She apparently believes any absurd story she's told, such as "my ex-girlfriend lives with me, but only to houseclean." And it's hard to sympathize with her string of disastrous relationships, when she dumped a sweet, tender, loving Mr. Right so she could play the field with Bad Boys. Ulrika repeatedly tries to justify her infidelity by claiming that she couldn't help it -- that it was inevitable. Uh-huh, sure.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars me me me!!!!! 25 July 2003
By A Customer
I bought this book because i saw Ulrika been interviewed on tv and i thought she seemed nice.However i got a little bored reading it and my conclusion is that Ulrika seems to be a very selfish girl not money or material wise. Although she does seem to have a great love for her children, i think she could have done with a bottle of cop on!!... Lots of women have bad abusive relationships that are not splashed all over the papers, thats the price to pay if you want to be famous.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I wasn't a fan of Ulrika, I thought she was pompous, looked down her nose at people and I found that irritating, until I saw her on Big Brother, where I saw her softer side and I warmed to her. This book was recommended by a friend. Although I wouldn't say it was a page turner, I did find it enjoyable, and very witty in parts. She has a great sense of humour, and this definitely comes across in the book. On a personal note - her early memories of being abandoned by her mother, and being left with her 'cheating' dad clearly affected her life and her lack of ability to choose the right partners in her life, and this was sad to read. I think she still struggles with the relationship with her mother, and I can relate to that.

The book certainly is 'honest', however what you have to remember is that two people can tell very different sides of a the same story and both tell it 'honestly' so yes it's an honest account of things, but from one perspective.

What I struggled to understand though was why she kept making such bad choices of men, and when she starts having children (all bar the John who was the only stability in her life, and whom she chose to cheat on and leave) she naively goes from one bad relationship to another. If I was going to psycho-annalyse I'd say that having stability was not a familiar feeling for her, and that it un nerved her, so she kept on almost punishing herself, going on self destruct, and choosing these unsuitable men, which is fine if you're just on your own, but not when you have children, it seemed immature, careless and selfish. A lot of the time I was wondering when she was talking about others, what their side of the story would have been.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Read. When's The Next Book?
I can't put it down after reading it 5 times.I can't put it down after reading it 5 times. I can't put it down after reading it 5 times.
Published 19 months ago by AtomAnt
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest?
In response to the review by A Reader (anon) entitled Liar....

It would appear to be somewhat unfair for the author of this piece to be so judgmental towards Ulrika. Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2007 by LoftyScribbler
3.0 out of 5 stars Honest...kind of
I'd always found Ulrika a tad irritating but this book changed my opinion...until she began tearing Sven's partner Nancy to shreds in the closing chapters. Read more
Published on 8 May 2006 by Amelia
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly well written and superbly funny!!
Well Ulrika's biography is certainly a cracker and stands out from the crowd of the ghost written genre. Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2004 by J. Maher
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly wonderful
I was lent this book and only read it because it seemed rude not to. I am so glad I did. She does not try to make herself out to be perfect and she is frank about her problems... Read more
Published on 28 Aug 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest is the Word
I am only half way through this book and finding it very interesting, enlightening and honest, as the book says. Read more
Published on 21 July 2003 by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars honest review
I found this to be a book that I couldn't put down. The book as the title suggests appears to be a very honest account of Ulrikas life and how she was feeling at the time. Read more
Published on 2 Jun 2003 by Amazon Customer
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