Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The How-To of Breakups

"Women who have gone to great lengths 
to raise themselves above the ordinary level of their sex 
are likely to believe, for a while at any rate, 
that they will be loved the more ardently 
and faithfully for their pains."
--Meghan Laslocky, The Little Book of Heartbreak, originally said by Claire Tomalin


Genre: Adult Nonfiction, History
Publisher: Plume, 272 pages
Publication Date: December 31st, 2012
Source: Copy provided via author in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Description

What's the best way to mend a broken heart? Forget ice cream, wine, or weepy movies. Award-winning journalist Meghan Laslocky advises: read through the pain. From divorce cases in ancient Rome to the art of crafting the perfect “I'm over you” mix CD, The Little Book of Heartbreak is a whirlwind tour through love's most crushing moments, including:
• How Ernest Hemingway cheated on his wife and then stole her job
• Painter Oscar Kokoschka's attempt to win back an ex by creating (and having liaisons with!) her life-size replica
• Morrissey's personal creed about how sex is useless
• What to watch, listen to, and read to forget an ex faster than you can say “rebound”

My Thoughts

For anyone who has been through a heartbreak, so mostly everyone, this book is a definite pick-me-up in that time.  The Little Book of Heartbreak reads almost like an anthology of the most infamous breakups throughout history. It's great. Laslocky goes back as far as the ancient Greeks and their somewhat crazy concoctions to make love all the way up to pop culture today as seen in music, movies and books. 

The book is divided up into sections that include history, culture, art and music, and film and literature. My personal favorites (go figure) were the anecdotal true stories of the horrific breakups that occurred throughout history. And these stories are all true! The heinousness of bad breakups is not something new to the 21st century, men have pretty much been actin' a fool for hundreds of years...bastards...But further than that, my favorite stories dealt with the women who took love into their own hands. Most notably to me, the two nuns who snuck in their lovers to the convent...no, seriously, this happened. It was during this time that only one daughter of every family could marry so the rest were sent off to take the veil. Clearly frustrated they did what they had to do in order to feel loved by someone other than the Almighty. Pretty intense.

My other favorites were the breakdown of songs to listen to depending on which part of the breakup you are going through. Brilliant! Oh my gosh, I dog eared all these pages in order to be prepared for the next heartache. So clever! And yes, if you were wondering, Adele is mentioned :)

Delving into literature, of course, was another great addition. Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina and a personal favorite book of mine Never Let Me Go was also mentioned. I loved how the author discussed the implications of technological and medical advancement in regards to love. Where does love fit in with all the scientific mumbo jumbo of today's advancements? There also is a section dedicated to the science of the brain behind love and heartache. Again, so interesting!

The book concludes with a helpful guide to the reader of what to do when heartbreak finds you. Songs to listen to, activities to partake in, and a heavy suggestion to let yourself wallow...at least for a little bit. This was such a fun and quick read that left me with so many fun facts about heartbreak throughout time as well as what to do with future heartbreak. Definite read for anyone who is going through a breakup. I think it is a really great book to empower you in times of heartache. We all go through it, we all feel bad about ourselves and this book helps us realize we are all together in this at one time or another. Very clever and fun and most definitely well-researched and unique :)

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