It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History

Jennifer Wright. Holt, $21 (256p) ISBN 978-1-62779-286-8
Journalist Wright debuts with this delightful, high-concept collection of essays. Presented as a self-help manual for the newly single, the book consists of funny, irreverent entries, each devoted to a different famous breakup, from ancient Rome (Nero and Poppea) to the 20th century (Liz Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Eddie Fisher). The grim personal details, presented to hilarious effect in pieces with titles like “If You Were Dumped, Read About Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton,” will make the reader want to delve further into the history, especially when they learn that Anna Ivanova, Empress of Russia, forced her jester to dress like a chicken and pretend to lay eggs when visitors arrived. According to the author, the past is “not that different and certainly not any better” than the present, relationship-wise. Most people go through breakups during which they feel and act terribly. Looking to history provides reassurance that this “is almost never the defining moment of one’s life.” The book teaches even as it entertains, and applies modern psychology to the behavior of its subjects, providing both amusement and consolation to people likely in need of both. Agent: Nicole Tourtelot, Kuhn Projects Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 06/01/2015
Release date: 11/03/2015
Ebook - 978-1-62779-287-5
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