Breakup is a brutally honest and unusual divorce memoir, written as a journal in real time. Averbach's narrative interweaves his ordeal with his psychotherapy in a deeply- reflective, intimate manner. His concomitant process of transformation gives Breakup a far-reaching significance that is quite compelling.
In this compelling and brutally honest memoir Leo Averbach draws you into the cauldron of marital disintegration. Written as a journal in real time, Breakup interweaves the writer's daily ordeal and the couple's ongoing travails with the insights and experience of psychotherapy.
The book chronicles Averbach's struggle to cope with his wife's betrayal and its implications for their family. His first-person narrative, which is confessional and deeply reflective, reveals everything in describing the acrimony and emotions as the marriage falls apart. But what begins as a tale of anguish and despair becomes a story of transformation and regeneration, leading Averbach to a new life.
Breakup is an unusual divorce memoir. Divorce is Breakup's prime concern but what elevates this from a personal account of a common occurrence into a story with wider significance is the upheaval surrounding the breakup. The tragedy of marital disintegration triggers Averbach's soul-searching, forcing him into a process of change, and driving him to seek a resolution. As a series of entries taken directly from the author's diary, Breakup is doubly unusual.
06 Jun 1991
Corthauld Institute, Somerset House.
I have just glimpsed an aspect of the void, the divorce courts, and
I can take it. Now at the gallery looking at van Dyck’s Man of
Sorrows. I identify with the figure in the painting. I am somewhere
between a rock and a hard place. I feel empty and anxious.
The point is that today not only can I see us living apart but I am
at one with it. I even welcome it. You were just an episode.
Breakup: Enduring Divorce by Leo Averbach *****
Reviewed by Deborah L. Baker for Reader's Choice Reviews
Having never experienced divorce, Breakup was a new experience for me. Nonetheless, author Leo Averbach allowed me to share the incredibly painful process of divorce through his gritty memoir. Averbach experiences a loss so deep and personal that it is hard to imagine. This story told through Leo’s journal shares the process he, his ex wife, and the children go through before the final act of divorce that eventually releases the family to heal.
The language is raw and at times acrid, as Averbach details his life’s downward spiral on learning that his wife is having an affair. He vacillates between trying to save the marriage, love for his wife and wanting her out of his life. The emotional turmoil is real and heartrending.
Averbach’s wife, Paula, moves out of their home leaving Leo and the children behind. She also struggles with the decision on whether to turn her back on her marriage and family, or give up her newfound love and save her marriage and home. Paula exhibits bitterness and anger with frequent outbursts directed at Leo. His responses range from passive aggressive to outright rage.
Breakup relates the couple’s journey through various therapy sessions both together and separately, as well as their few, futile attempts at reconciliation. As the Averbach’s relationship crumbles, the family’s home environment becomes acrimonious. Through it all, Leo’s journal entries give us a very genuine and unprocessed glimpse of the inner turmoil that divorce can have on a person’s self imagine and ego.
For those going through the process of letting go of your marriage, and enduring the painful process of separation, this book is enlightening. The path to healing is often a long and painful struggle but Leo Averbach tells us in Breakup: Enduring Divorce that it is possible. As Marcel Proust points out "We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full." Leo Averbach relates the process of experiencing the hurt, anger, and pain of betrayal and loss in full and uncut.
Reviewed By Cherie Mangum
Official Apex Reviews Rating:*****
Upon learning that his wife is having an affair, Leo suddenly finds himself
thrust in the midst of an overwhelming storm of tortuous pain and raw, unchecked
emotion. As his family begins a slow, agonizing descent into chaotic turmoil, Leo
is eventually torn between the equally grueling options of moving on with his life
or doing what he can to save his marriage. No matter what he decides, though, he
knows that his life will never be the same, and the ultimate challenge becomes not
how to put the pieces of his fractured life back together again – but rather how
long it will take his wounded heart to finally heal...
Gritty and powerful, Break-Up is an emotion-filled, heartrending read.
Throughout the pages of his eye-opening memoir, author Leo Averbach takes the
reader on a detailed journey through the step-by-step process that he underwent
as he was forced to watch what was once a happy marriage crumble apart before
his helpless eyes. Presented in the form of real-time journal entries, Break-Up
paints a vivid, striking picture of a man and family suddenly thrust in the deepest
of crises, responding the best way they know how to the life-altering challenges
confronting them; however, what begins as a depressing tale of heartbreak and
woe ends as an inspiring story of resilience and victory, highlighting the liberating
promise of healing and the indomitable power of hope in overcoming the worst of
For anyone seeking to learn more about the very real pain that
accompanies the uncertainty of separation and divorce, Break-Up is a thoroughly
enlightening read. An uplifting account of learning how to tap into the
rejuvenative, transformative power that lies within us all.