reviewed by Chris Richards.
Rosie Wilby writes The Breakup Monologues like a letter to a close friend who must get caught up on all the news. Contextualised with discussions and questions asked of knowledgeable friends and acquaintances about why experiences during changing relationships are so important and rewarding to Rosie, and everyone else.
Caught between a self help book and a memoir, it has elements of both without the need to comply with either. It is a series of monologues that entertain while laced with new and academic ideas. Shedding just enough light to lead you to wonder much more about the psychology behind relationships and behaviour lead by neurochemistry. Luckily, there is an excellent further reading list on the final page.
Dedicated to “Outsiders, eccentrics, mavericks and all those who have been ‘dumped’ in a broader sense.” Wilby makes it clear to we readers that the book is for all and any who want to read it, which is basically everyone, isn’t it? When Wilby does broach the subject of heartbreak and pain, it is from a glib and practical perspective, she makes it funny. It does not wallow or chastise either party (very much) and there is always a (slightly smug) hopeful feeling that time and experience is preparing you for something better. The exchanges with Girlfriend that open some monologues made me laugh the most.
Yet, it is humorous with a light touch and grace when describing others. If you’re looking for a palate cleanser for the new year this is one to look out for. If you have seen Wilby’s stand up, there’s plenty to recognise in the style while able to savour each word like a delicious meal. Its an unusual read and refreshingly honest and has very little to do with Covid. I can’t promise it doesn’t mention it (this was published at the end of 2021) but it does a wonderful job of keeping the virus from stealing centre stage. This would be a great gift for those disenchanted with love or your constantly lovesick friend.
Published by Green Tree and available at all good bookstores now.
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