Reviewed by Linus Rees

Cover of book showing pebble and lines in sand.When things gets a bit on top of you there’s nothing like a good clear out to physically and emotionally de-clutter your life. In this slim volume Fitzrovia author Jennifer Kavanagh looks beyond de-cluttering and encourages us to find a deeper often spiritual meaning to and enjoyment from a simpler life.

As an atheist I’m not attracted to the religious passages (Kavanagh is a Quaker) but I’ve many times enjoyed the simplicity of staying in a French monastery; its quiet space for relaxing, contemplation, far away from computers and mobile (de)vices. Despite my distaste for Catholicism the simplicity of life in the monastery gives me time to rejuvenate.

But Kavanagh is not concerned with a temporary spiritual detox holiday. Instead she examines how and why we might want to achieve a more meaningful permanent settlement in our own lives; how we can de-consumerise and understand what it means to lead a more economically and emotionally contented and sustainable life.

Simplicity is part of a series of self-help books published by O-Books. Jennifer Kavanagh has a website at