Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
A collection of forty anonymous stories, Craigslist Confessional is the passion project of a D.C. lobbyist with a desire to fulfil a fundamental human need: to have one’s story heard. Helena Dea Bala’s story begins not with the ad she posted on Craigslist offering to listen (anonymously and without charge) to secrets people felt they couldn’t share with anyone, but rather with her own experience of confessing her own problems to a homeless man outside her work. The conversation prompted a realisation of the dissonance between her internal reality and the person she presented externally to the world: “I felt inherently dishonest,” she writes in her introduction. “And, I often thought, if I couldn’t be honest with others, how could I be honest with myself? Had I gotten so warped, so sucked into playing the role of the perfect daughter, the perfect employee, the perfect girlfriend, that I could no longer tell my genuine life from the one I was projecting?”