Review: Why We Broke Up – moved

Why We Broke Up
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Revolving around Mim and Ed, this is story is told from Mim’s point of view, as she returns items that had significance in her relationship with Ed, and tells us the story of where the item came from and why she is returning it.
While I recognise the quality of the idea behind this book, and the quality of the writing in general, this book felt like it was about 5 objects too long to me. And the upbeat ending, written outside the framework of the returned items, misses a beat in an otherwise emotionally charged story.
Also, I felt cheated that Mim, a strong feminist type, would be so blind to the shitty-ness of Ed. I could see it all unfolding, and I doubted that she would deny his true character so easily.

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Grief can come to you at odd times.
Sitting in a plane. Kilometres above the earth. I’d read the inflight mag, listened to the grand final on and off (and what a great game that was!), and lunch was finished, along with a nice bottle of sav blanc. Over the course of two long flights I had finished off Mr Standdast and read all of the Agatha Christie I’d been reading on my iPhone.
What to read next?
A quick flip through the books on Stanza. There was nothing I hadn’t read already that grabbed me. ‘To the Lighthouse’? Too deep. ‘Emma’? Too frivolous.
Over to iBooks. Damn. I deleted them all to make space for The Chaos Walking trilogy.
And then – Paul Kelly’s ‘How to make gravy’. A weighty tome that I dip in and out of. It’s that sort of book. I was up to ‘Coma’, Kelly’s exploration of his intermittent heroin habit. Then ‘Cradle of Love’, and then…WHAM.
Grief can come to you at odd times.
If you know your Paul Kelly then you might be thinking that the next song is ‘Deeper Water’, and you’d be right. And I was back in 1989 or 90, at a house in Red Hill, at the funeral of a man, a mate, a dad, a husband, a friend. The funeral was sad. Taken too soon in a boating accident leaving a wife a three little kids, a community was grieving. A friend got up and played ‘Deeper Water’ for a man who loved the sea. And the crowd wept.
Grief can come to you at odd times. But it’s good to remember them.