Heartbroken: Field Notes on a Constant Condition by Laura Pratt Review

I received a free copy of this book In exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and journalist Laura Pratt goes on a personal journey to understand the psychological and emotional impact of heartbreak and how it affects us all in her book “Heartbroken: Field Notes on a Constant Condition”.


The Synopsis

In this definitive treatise on romantic loss, journalist Laura Pratt exposes the subject of heartbreak with a deep dive into the experience. Her reports chronicle her journey from grief to gratitude, and to perspective and meaning at last.

Heartbroken charts a hard terrain we all know–pocked with rejection, slick with sorrow–but it also offers some light and a map. And hope for arriving–changed, broadened, grateful–on the other side.

When Laura Pratt’s long-distance partner of six years tells her “it’s over” at a busy downtown train station, she is sent reeling, the breakup having come out of the blue. Her partner, meanwhile, closes himself off, refusing to acknowledge Laura and her requests for explanation.

In the following days, months, and then years, Laura struggles to make sense of this loss, alone and filled with questions. She mourns him and takes comfort in whatever reassurances she imagines the universe is sending her, and in identifying value for her ordeal under every rock she flips.

Here, Laura bares her soul as she brings alive the ups and downs of heartbreak–the recalled highs of when the relationship was in full, mutual bloom, and the long-time lows of her solitary vigil for Sam.

Seeking to understand this freefall and how so many before her survived it, she draws on forces across time and form and uncovers literary, philosophical, scientific, and psychological accounts of how we human beings fall in love in the first place, and why, when it ends, some of us take longer to get over it, or never do.

Effortlessly, Laura Pratt weaves this background of cultural history with her own bracing story of heartbreak and loss, and offers the heartbroken some solace in the common experience.

Imbued with Laura’s longing, erudition, and hard-earned wisdom, Heartbroken dares to delve into this most universal of mortal ordeals–perhaps the one that makes us the most human of all.

The Review

What struck me immediately upon reading this book was the profound sense of personal experience that somehow still felt all too relatable and engaging to the reader. The balance the author found in this memoir and relationship-driven book between her own personal heartbreak and the study of heartbreak, in general, was great to see. The pain and tragedy of the author’s experiences help to connect readers to the subject matter, as the emotions that influenced her mentality in those early days of the breakup showcased the power that a strong connection and its sudden loss can have, not unlike the sense of loss that comes with losing a loved one in life.

The artistry and almost poetic way the author wrote this book really became the heart of the story here. The insightful and free-flowing research into the subject and history of heartbreak, romance, and love as a whole in regard to the relationships we form was remarkable to watch unfold on the page, and looking at how history has shown the evolution of our thoughts and feelings on love as a people was incredible to read about. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, emotional, and memorable, author Laura Pratt’s “Heartbroken” is a must-read book of nonfiction memoir and relationship storytelling. The way the author is able to share how love and relationships can influence how we respond to and appreciate things like music and memories as a whole was great to see come to life in the author’s writing, and the cultural and historical research that went into the author’s exploration of her own heartbreak made this a truly compelling read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

LAURA PRATT is a long-time journalist, writer and editor. She writes for Canadian magazines and edits books. Her first memoir, The Fleeting Years, was published in 2004. She lives in Toronto with whichever of her kids and dogs she can corral to join her. She’s a 2020 graduate of the University of King’s College’s creative nonfiction MFA. She won an honourable mention in Prairie Fire’s 2020 CNF contest and was shortlisted for The Fiddlehead’s 2019 CNF contest. She has served as a judge at the National Magazine Awards for several years.



1 thought on “Heartbroken: Field Notes on a Constant Condition by Laura Pratt Review

  1. Pingback: Interview with Author Laura Pratt | Author Anthony Avina's Blog

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