The blurb for All The Beautiful Things You Love promises a romance in reverse, a love story told from the break-up looking back. So, I’ve been steeling myself for a bummer ever since I opened the package with the copy sent to me for review by the wonderful team at Macmillan Australia.

It’s a very contemporary take on the tragic end of a marriage, with a woman selling off all the possessions that remind her of her ex on Facebook Marketplace. To keep pace on the rent of her London flat, Elly divests herself of everything that reminds her of Enzo – the couch, the dining table, the framed vinyl, the bicycle – and as she does, she takes the reader through the memories they shared around that object.

All The Beautiful Things You Love is a very passionate story, and Seidler does an excellent job of evoking the all-consuming grief of heartbreak. There was one Antiques Roadshow-style moment that actually had my eyes welling up, and I’m not the kind of reader who usually cries. I’d imagine these feelings would be compounded by listening to the curated Spotify playlist to accompany the book (accessed via a QR code in the front pages), but I’m not the kind of reader who can listen to music at the same time, either.

Still, there were some weird perspective shifts in All The Beautiful Things You Love that threw me out of the story. They probably would’ve been okay if not for the non-linear timeline playing out. That makes it a hard book to pick up and put down, so there’s little opportunity to take a break from the overwhelming devastation of Elly and Enzo’s conscious uncoupling. Perhaps that could’ve been mitigated with some more comic relief, but I don’t think Seidler wanted us to feel relieved at all. So, be sure to pick up some tissues before you sit down to read All The Beautiful Things You Love, and set aside a good chunk of time for it, too.

Buy All The Beautiful Things You Love on Booktopia here. (affiliate link)