Why We Broke Up (Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman)

why we broke up daniel handler
photo from supposedlyfun.com

“Intriguing.”

It was my first reaction upon seeing this book. No wonder, I actually bought a copy of it when I went to a nearby bookstore one day.

It is a beautiful book, literally. My copy is hard bound, and the pages are glossy. I must say, the material is perfect for its kind. It’s full of illustrations, after all. Sure, these pictures are among the things I love about this book.

Min Green, the narrator, gathers things that are important in the development of her recently-concluded relationship with Ed Slaterton. She puts all of them inside a box, which she plans to send to his ex. Then, she writes a letter to accompany the stuff. It explains why they broke up.

How does she do this? Simple: she uses each of the things inside the box to address him (Ed) and at the same time tell their story, which, I think, is interesting.

While the novel is not that moving content-wise (or maybe I am just too old for these things), I find its storytelling process very interesting. I also appreciate the fact that the narrator’s voice seems so authentic and sincere, which somehow helps me see accept things no matter how cheesy and cliché they are.

“I was stupid, the official descriptive phrase for happy.”

– Min Green

Plus, I like how it paints a picture of young love: exciting, lovely, painful, and somehow foolish. (Hello, poor decisions made for love!) But of course, foolishness is part of the learning process.

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