Posted 20 hours ago

Notes on Heartbreak: From Vogue’s Dating Columnist, the must-read book on love and letting go

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I find that too often words fall short, reducing the overwhelming swell of feeling to an isolated sensation as though it was just one thing and not all of you at that moment. That’s not a dig, by the way: it’s an observation she makes of herself in her debut book Notes on Heartbreak, a memoir about the disintegration of a five-year relationship, and it’s something she helpfully demonstrates within seconds of us meeting at her home in south London. And in some ways it is and can see why most love it, however this style of metaphoric hyperbolic writing is just so overdone in the book that I constantly lost concentration. I did try to really confront ways in which I fucked things up: like not setting boundaries or cutting myself off from friends or being needy.

It’s a process and sometimes that process takes a long time, stretching even into the time when you think you’re completely fine and your heart is mostly healed. Encapsulating the trajectory of a broken heart, Lord put her own organs on the operating table and allows us to bear witness to her pain and, in it, find some solidarity on this unfair rite of passage. If you’ve read her articles in Vogue, this book is only an extension of her ability to find a perfect balance between colloquial relatability and profound ideas.Annie Lord: I am someone that really likes to sit in a feeling and so after my breakup I really only wanted to read or watch things about breakups and every book I read was either a self-help book, like ‘let’s get you back on the horse,’ or began so long after the fact – maybe because the pain is so hard to describe. And I don’t think that’s helpful sometimes because if you are just a victim and you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, it does remove any agency because then you can’t do anything to make it right. Otherwise, it ends with them getting back together – which makes you feel so shit if you’re not able to. The way Annie talks about Joe is beautiful and made me tear up in public a few times, coming across like both a love letter to him and then herself. I actually found myself falling a bit in love with both of them, and I could see how they meshed together so well.

Knowing which recipes will taste like a Thursday night in with him, what songs will remind me of how we used to dance in the blue of the oven light until the neighbours told us to turn the music down. Vogue dating columnist Annie Lord's debut, Notes on Heartbreak, is a visceral yet funny recollection of the breakdown of her five-year-relationship, told in her distinctive, lyrical style . It made me feel so much less alone and I couldn’t recommend it more to anyone that is struggling, or who has struggled with the end of a relationship, especially one that started during your teenage years.

I really love reviews where there is such a personal connection with a text, for that is one of the driving purposes of writing. I don’t feel embarrassed when I’m writing about myself because I’m a massive oversharer even in person, but it does affect how other people see me which is crap.

The end of something is so often its most poignant part, and she gives her ending the weight and romanticisation it deserves. I know a lot of reviewers who don’t like this, but for me, many of these books have turned out to be the absolute best of reads. Oh Annie, I feel like we are friends now and I want to give you a big hug and say thank you for being so vulnerable, so honest, so brave, so lovable!Thank you for sharing your story so bravely and honestly, and I wish you much happiness as you keep moving on. It's a book about the best and worst of love: the euphoric and the painful, the beautiful and the messy. Charting her attempts to move on, Annie explores the ups and downs of being newly single, from disastrous rebound sex to sending ill-advised nudes, stalking your ex's new girlfriend on Instagram and the sharp indignity of being ghosted. I like how his thick Yorkshire accent curls over the Ts until they disappear, smooth as a beach pebble.

Annie Lord’s writing manages to remain beautiful and poignant without falling into any cliché’s or tropes.I think if I met the right person and they weren’t comfortable being written about I would give up the column, though that would be difficult because they’d probably say they were uncomfortable on about date three and I still wouldn’t know if I was going to fall for them enough to give it up? It’s a sparkling and deliciously indulgent read which gets right into your chest and stays with you afterwards.

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