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Fall In Love With The Museum of Broken Relationships

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From a singular smelly sneaker, to a half-completed Sodoku puzzle book, my fictional characters would have gladly donated their break-up debris to the Museum of Broken Relationships. But when I first wrote the first draft of ‘Break Up Club’, there was no such thing. So the Club had to make do with building a bonfire that led to the fire brigade being called out, and almost being thrown in jail.

Luckily, now there’s a real place you can send your break-up detritus (date-tritus, anyone?). I was lucky enough to go to the sneak preview ahead of its opening today, June 4th, at 6751 Hollywood Boulevard.*

#BrokenshipsLA is a cathedral of catharsis, where only the brave have shed their most intimate, sentimental memories, and laid their broken dreams to rest. Reading the plaques, the relief is palpable. You get a real sense of these people having finally attained peace in themselves, having finally let go.

Being a geek about break-ups (an occupational hazard), I’ve been to the museum twice before over the years. But this time, I was struck dumb by the quality of the writing in all the stories. I feel disloyal saying this, but I don’t remember the plaques in London all being as impeccably written. Perhaps there has been a more shrewd editing process this time, but they are all brilliantly balanced – both as pieces in themselves, and in relation to each other. Sensitively curated, some stories are brutally short; a real power in their brevity. Others are as long and meandering as the lifetimes they span.

The artefacts range from the funny (a mirror weighed down with the memory of a break-up), the freaky (curled up contacts collected in a baggy), the frightening (belly button fluff)… to the heartbreaking (the teddy who no longer has music in his fingertips)… and the adorably mundane:

minty fresh

At this point I can’t not mention another similarity to ‘Break Up Club’ – which has its own fluoride motif, first mentioned here:

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But back to the museum. Below are some of my all time favourites.

Yard 2
Heavy baggage
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Free in every sense of the word
comic
Nobody’s hero
The butterfly effect
broken wings
When a butterfly flaps its wings… all the way to the rubbish dump
bearly there1
Bear of little heart
bearly there 2
No picnic
bearly there 3
Uncomfortable silence

After an hour in the Museum, you are bowled over by the universality of break-ups. A sense that Love is the best feeling in the world, whereas break-ups are worse than death. But most of all you come away realising that it’s only by sharing our hoarding with others that we can declutter our emotional attics and finally move on. A break-up shared really is a break-up halved.

In the spirit of sharing, then – if I was ever going to donate an object, it would be one red high-heeled shoe. A symbol of one particularly significant love story I lived through. I won’t bore you with the details, but it began with a romantic Cinderella-esque meet-cute, and ended when the relationship turned into a pumpkin 10 months later. Sadly, I can’t donate the original shoe because the ‘real life Break Up Club’ and I burned it in a bonfire. This was back in 2009, before Zagreb’s first Brokenships had opened. So like my characters, we had to improvise.

I had to laugh when the invite came into my inbox with one red high-heeled shoe on it. 

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*Incidentally, ‘Break-Up Club’ itself has also finally just opened its doors, thanks to Harper Collins. You can join here, or find out more at breakupclub.co.uk

 

 

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Review: Break Up Club by Lorelei Mathias

Thank you for this charming and thoughtful review Sya!

BOOKISHSya

break up clubDate of publication: May 19th 2016

Publisher: Harper Collins UK / Avon

Purchase: Amazon UK

Holly Braithwaite and loveable loser Lawrence have been together for five years. But the obvious cracks in their relationship can no longer be ignored and Holly soon finds herself saying ‘it’s not me, it’s you’.

In the shock aftermath of their break up, Holly finds unlikely companions in Olivia, Harry and Bella. Together, they form the Break-up Club, as they support each other through their mutual melancholy and find ways to love, laugh and function as human beings again.

Break-up Club meets every Sunday. Each week, as the comedy and drama unfolds, they discover a new BUC ‘rule’. And, one by one, the rules become vital markers on their journey to recovery…


My review:

Break-Up Club follows the story of Holly who breaks up with her loser boyfriend Lawrence and to recover from it, she…

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Guest Post: Lorelei Mathias

Stop one on the Break Up Club mini Blog Tour…
A little something I wrote about editing, eternal sunshine, and how not to be a douchebag to yourself in a break-up!

Bookaholic Confessions

GPBREAK-UPS, THE CUTTING-ROOM FLOOR, AND THE WONDERS OF SELF-EDITING
By Lorelei Mathias

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Hello. Thanks for having me, Holly! Today I’m going to be introducing you all to two of the most essential rules of Break-Up Club, and then I’ll walk you through why they are so important…

 

#6 No Face-Stalking. Exes should be un-friended no later than 48 hours after a break-up. Phone numbers should be deleted or re-saved under the name ‘Don’t Answer’.

 

#10 – For their own protection, members must respect the N.G.Z. (No-Go Zones) imposed by a break-up. N.G.Z.s fall into three categories – Locational, Musical and Gifting.

 

Now, both of these rules exist to encourage the importance of filtering your own thoughts, which is a practice most essential to any break-up. I promise you – it really helps!

Because editing is a big part of how you get over someone, I made my…

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