At the end of 2003 I went through an incredibly messy relationship ending (you know, one of those breakups that plummets you back to adolescence when you’re convinced that you are irreparably flawed, unworthy of love, and [even worse] that you are incapable of loving anyone else ever again). The appearance of The Breakup Repair Kit in my mail was like a sign from the Universe.

At first, I was reluctant to even look at it. For one thing, it’s printed entirely in pink ink, and I was afraid it would be full of Cosmo Girl style advice (“Slip on your sexiest shoes and go get laid”).  But instead co-authors Kamins and MacLeod’s heart-mending tips include ‘nurture nest’ activities and spa treatments to help heal your broken heart. They don’t step too far away from the practical (although I found the advice to find a gay friend to talk to a little specious), and spend time seriously discussing depression, its symptoms, and recommending therapy if you’re really in a bad place.

With practical advice like, “rediscover what you love to do and take yourself on the date of your life” The Breakup Repair Kit is like having a girlfriend keeping you company through the tough stuff. It's funny when it needs to be, but also touching and sympathetic to the inevitable pain and loneliness experienced when you remember (yet again) that you aren’t with that special person anymore. Yes, this book offers practical advice, but more than anything it offers the comfort of knowing that at the time we feel most alone, we're not. This book is a must-read for anyone who has just gone through a break-up -- messy or amicable, sudden or predictable.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author:  Kamins, Marni and Janice Macleod

Conari Press, 2004

pp. 168, $14.95