Rachel Levy Lesser tells the story of her life in this collection—fourteen coming-of-age essays, each one tied to a unique fashion accessory, laced with humor and introspection about a girl-turned-woman trying to figure out friendship, love, a career path, parenthood, and, most poignantly, losing her mother to cancer at a young age. About far more than just a hair tie, a bracelet, or a belt, Life’s Accessories is a window into the many ways in which Lesser has come to understand life—in all of its beauty, its joys, its sorrows, its heartaches, its challenges, and its absurdity.
Advance Praise for Life’s Accessories
“I’d like to be one of Rachel Levy Lesser’s best friends even though I’ve never met her. You would too after you read about how honestly she writes about her young life. She’s smart, funny, savvy and knows what she wants in best friends, men you can trust, mothering, and classy high fashion choices.”
—Ilene Beckerman, author of Love Loss and What I Wore
“Lesser imbues each anecdote, centered around a piece of clothing, jewelry, or accessory, with humor, wisdom, and memory. She excavates her own personal history through particular objects in her closet, and makes the personal universal. I laughed, I cried, I nodded vigorously in agreement as I read. I loved this book.”
—Lindsey Mead, Writer and Editor of On Being 40(ish)
“Rachel Levy Lesser had me on page one. Her storytelling is heartfelt, engrossing, entertaining, and as addictive as reading a friend’s diary. Life’s Accessories will undoubtedly leave readers wanting Lesser to add to her collection.”
—Amy Blumenfeld, author of The Cast
“Rachel Levy Lesser paints a relatable, compelling picture of her highs and lows, and beautifully writes about the loss of her mother. Life’s Accessories is this season’s must-have accessory for your best girlfriend’s bedside table.”
—Zibby Owens, Writer, Creator/Host of Podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books”
“In fluid, engaging prose, Rachel Levy Lesser draws readers into her episodic coming-of-age from prep school student to mature mother and writer — accessorized charmingly throughout by symbolic talismans. Through grieving for her lost mother, she exudes a palpable joie de vivre, attracting a lively coterie, including us who read as Best Friends Forever.”
—Paula Deitz, Editor, The Hudson Review
“In this episodic memoir, worn talismans give Rachel Levy Lesser the strength to claim her voice, weather grief, and navigate a rich and full life. Reminiscent of Ilene Beckerman’s classic Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Lesser captures the pressures and pleasures of a new generation of women as her warmth and wisdom shine through.”
—Andrea Jarrell, author of I’m the One Who Got Away: a Memoir
“Through both her sheer bravery and evident joy from mining years’ worth of coming of age memories, Rachel Levy Lesser has proven that the term ‘grief book’ is anything but a one note category. I smiled with tears in my eyes throughout this entirely creative paper journey documenting the LOL-worthy and poignant moments from adolescence and young adulthood, and the hard lessons some of us get schooled in earlier than we might expect.”
—Rebecca Soffer, coauthor of Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome.
Sign up and download the first chapter of Life’s Accessories for free. Receive updates on new essays, blog posts, book events, projects and other happenings. You may even get some cool fashion tips!
Rachel Levy Lesser’s articles and essays have appeared in various outlets, including The Huffington Post, Glamour.com, Parenting.com, Kveller, Modern Loss, Scary Mommy and The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. In her previous life as a marketing professional, she worked on the business side of Time Inc. on magazines including InStyle, Life, People, Real Simple, and Sports Illustrated for Kids. Lesser lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Life’s Accessories is her fourth book.