Five Men Who Broke My Heart by Susan Shapiro


I’d earmarked Susan Shapiro’s Five Men Who Broke My Heart as holiday reading and it was a great choice. And I’ve tagged this post with ‘book review’. That’s a blatant lie. I’m not reviewing this book. Instead, I’ll share my own heart breaks – far more interesting, right?

1. I’m 14. The boy I fancied tells me that he prefers my friend. His exact words were “It’s like choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream, they’re both good.” My thoughts at that moment: What the fuck? Am I the vanilla in this scenario? What the fuck?! I don’t think I’m really that interested anyway…

2. I’m 16. A boy, let’s call him R*, well and truly breaks my heart. In fact, he rips it out of my chest, smashes it to smithereens and then stomps all over the pieces. This is the boy whose name was on my pencil-case (see, I told you it was serious) and whose timetable I knew so that I could orchestrate ‘chance’ meetings in the hall.

3. I’m 19. I end my first ‘serious’ relationship. No regrets about the guy but firsts are always difficult. File this one under #ALLTHEFEELINGS

4. I’m 20. I meet a guy while on holiday. A relationship would have been GI (Geographically Impossible) but I really, really like him. We have a few friends in common, although the links are somewhat tenuous – I exercise those links. Moral of the story: leave holiday romances on holiday.

5. I’m 37. My five-year-old son, in a fit of rage (can’t remember about what) shouted “You’re the worst mum EVER!”. I never expected that would cut sooooooo deeply.

*My husband knows all about R. Oddly, we were at the Royal Melbourne Show one year (before we were married) and I spotted R walking towards us. I grabbed my husband’s arm and said “Oh my God, It’s R.” As it happened, R was wearing very bad jeans. And a jumper. Tucked in. Without missing a beat, my husband said “If he was going out with you he would never have worn that jumper.” Decided then that my husband was the best man in the world. EXACTLY the right thing to say.

The book gets a solid 3/5. I loved Shapiro’s family and their dinnertime ‘Name that Disease’ game. I loved her navel-gazing (and her therapist’s no-nonsense approach) and her honesty (yes, she hoped that the men who broke her heart weren’t more successful than her/maintained their looks).


5 responses

    • Wow! My no.3 kept talking marriage (was never going to happen!) and sometimes I do wonder what path my life would have taken if I had done what he (and his family) expected. That said, unlike Shapiro I am not at all curious about what these guys are doing now – I’m not one for looking back (for better or worse) and rarely think about decisions once I’ve made them.

      Worth mentioning a post script to the chocolate/vanilla guy – nothing ever happened with the girl who I assume was ‘chocolate’… I like to think of it as buyer’s remorse on his part 😉

      • Maybe she was more carob? I know what no. 3 is doing cause we had a child together, but my first love, don’t really need to know what his life has become. I’m happy now and glad I’m not still with either of them!

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