BROKEN

Dear Ella and Suse,
Over the years I've had what I see as very poor luck on the dating scene.I've had a few short-lived relationships that I become very invested in, but each time the men prove to be emotionally unavailable and indifferent to my interest in a future. The culmination of all this has left me utterly heart broken, mildly depressed, and unable to move on - each heartache hurting more than the last. I want to keep the hope that there is someone out there for me, but I'm losing it along with my confidence and ability to focus on anything but my loss and loneliness.
Yours,
Broken
Dear Broken,
It sounds to us as if you have had a lot of bad luck in your relationships! And now you are despairing of your own innate desirability. We feel that you need help on both counts - you've got to reassure yourself of your own lovability, and also find a man that is worthy of your time and emotional investment. For the first issue, that is, needing to boost your confidence and recover your self esteem, we offer you The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx. This wonderful book set in Newfoundland describes the plight of a man who believes himself unlovable - fat, abandoned by his parents and his wife, and given the sack to boot - but who, 'brimming with grief and thwarted love' starts a new life on an inhospitable island. Quoyle, the aforementioned hero, drags himself back into humanity slowly, painfully, but with total and resounding success.This book reads like the opposite of Kafka's Metamorphosis - the hero here goes from the depths of despair into something resembling deep contentment. And he too finds love. 
Next, to assist you with finding a man worth your time, we urge you to read that classic, Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Bathsheba Everdene falls for two wrong'uns before she realises that Gabriel Oak, the stalwart, steadfast shepherd is the one who was always worth his salt. You need to find a Gabriel Oak in your life. If Hardy is too slow for you, a more modern tale of love coming to fruition after much trauma is May we be Forgiven by A M Holmes. This roller-coaster of a novel addresses major themes of loneliness, isolation, and questions the roles of men and women in society in ways which will have you wondering quite what you really want to find in a man, and what kind of partner you want to be yourself. The hero of this novel is extremely flawed, but ultimately lovable - and his own issues may have you pondering the situations of the men you meet next, with a deeper undersanding of what makes them, and you, tick.
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
May we be Forgiven by A M Holmes

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A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE