“The Heartbreak Diet” by Thorina Rose

Thorina Rose’s Heartbreak Diet is a comic-book memoir of the breakup of her marriage. Both in words and illustrations, it’s wry, sad and easy to sympathize with. It begins with a simple exchange:

Thorina (holding toddler): Where are you going?
Her husband, X: I’m going running.

Rose illustrates her husband in a runners stretch, with a focus on his ass, in a sly visual dig. Throughout, he’s shown in shadow, and mostly from behind. It’s an effective way to characterize a man on his way out of their marriage. Rose’s art, black and white and shades of grey, is striking and accessible. The story is a pastiche of events, imaginings, advice she receives, and things she does, or tries to do, to get through the unraveling of her marriage. I enjoyed reading about her journey, both in pictures and in words. She narrates her anger, sadness and bewilderment, but her story is never weighed down by them, but buoyed by hope.

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