Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb

February 26, 2007
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Cures for Heartbreak
Margo Rabb

Delacorte Press
Feb 26, 2007
Hardcover/238 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-73402-8
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"Life is in the details and Rabb gets it just right."

Cures for Heartbreak: A moving look at death and grief and the enduring hope of love.

Mia Pearlman’s mother had a stomachache. Diagnosed with cancer, she died twelve days later. It happened so quickly there was no time to prepare, no time to get used to the idea before she was gone. Shortly after, Mia’s father has a heart attack, his second. But he wakes up from the depths of his grief to live again, to love again, and to face death again.

Cures for Heartbreak is at its center Mia’s story, the tale of her grief and confusion, but it is also a journey of the heart and the ever-changing faces of love. What author Margo Rabb does so well is focus on the tiny moments, the rivalry between sisters, returning to school, the little vanities and foibles, and the fleeting moments of kindness and crassness that inform everyday life.

Life is in the details, and Rabb gets it just right. From the reminiscences of little considerations like cutting the crusts off sandwiches, to the frightening wonder of discovering one’s parent was once romantic and young, these fine drawings create an intimate atmosphere. They define the limits of death and the heartbreak of losing the familiar rhythms of family life to the slow and emotional drift of life after death.

The broken rhythms of the various chapters as they move backward and forward in chronological time impart the broken and stitched back together sense of grief in all its variations and shaded colors. Cures for Heartbreak is well worth the journey.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell

 

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