Five Men Who Broke My Heart by Susan Shapiro

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



On sale 1/20/04! In this honest, hilarious, fiercely intelligent memoir, journalist Susan Shapiro dares to do what every woman dreams of: track down the five men who'd broken her heart and find out what really went wrong. Between the ages of thirteen and thirty-five, Susan had plunged into love, heart-first, five times. One bad breakup was more hurtful and humiliating than the next.

With insight and daring, Susan chronicles her six-month-long journey back down a road strewn with romantic regret. Although for years she'd blamed her boyfriends for their flagrant infidelity, ludicrous faults, and immature foibles, to her shock she can now suddenly pinpoint the exact moment where she herself screwed up each relationship.

A successful freelance writer living in Manhattan, Susan Shapiro was in the midst of a midlife crisis she called her “no-book-no-baby summer.” Married for five years to Aaron, a workaholic TV comedy writer always on the road, she was beginning to wonder if she'd remain book- and babyless forever. Then the phone rang, and it was Brad, a college flame who'd become a Harvard scientist with a book coming out. Susan offers to interview him, and she winds up launching into all the intense, invasive questions she'd always wanted to ask him. To her surprise, he answers them! This ignites a spark that sends her on a cross-country jaunt back through her lust-littered past.

While Brad is still single, she finds that Heartbreaks Number Two, Three, and Four are not. George, a theater professor, and Richard, a music biographer, are happily married with children. Tom, a handsome blond lawyer in L.A., is getting divorced. Just as it's becoming easy to worm her way back into her exes' good graces, she crashes head-on with David, a wry Canadian root canal specialist. ("It’s the equivalent of what you did to me emotionally," she tells him.) She then gut-wrenchingly relives the agony of splitting up with her first love all over again. Yet somewhere between the tantalizing what-ifs and bittersweet might-have-beens, she finds what she's been searching for all along.

Part relationship manifesto, part confessional, and part valentine to the males in her life she adores, Five Men Who Broke My Heart is for anyone who has ever wondered what became of their first love. Or second, third, fourth, or fifth…

From the Hardcover edition.

About Susan Shapiro

See more books from this Author
Susan Shapiro became addicted to her shrink-Dr. Woolverton-when he helped her quit twenty-seven-year smoking and drinking habits and start writing successfully. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and People, and on She is the author of seven books, including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Speed Shrinking (currently optioned for films), and the memoir, Lighting Up, about her successful addiction therapy. She is a journalism professor who teaches the popular "instant gratification takes too long" writing method at the New School, New York University, and in private workshops and seminars. Visit her at Dr. Frederick Woolverton is a clinical psychologist who has specialized in treating addiction patients for the past twenty-five years. He is the founder and director of the acclaimed Village Institute for Psychotherapy in New York City and in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was the former clinical director of the Baldwin Council Against Drug Abuse, has published numerous papers on substance abuse, and has created nationally adopted courses on the treatment of addictive disorders. His works have recently appeared in the New York Times and Psychology Today, and on AOL. Visit him at
Published January 20, 2004 by Delacorte Press. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Romance, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Five Men Who Broke My Heart

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Although Aaron’s aloofness makes his spouse wonder if she “flunked all five breakups” (she felt abandoned by her exes, feels abandoned by him), and his infertility makes her question whether they’re “flawed as a couple,” it’s not clear how dredging up the detritus of lost loves will shed light.

Dec 30 2003 | Read Full Review of Five Men Who Broke My Heart

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The seasoned journalist (the New York Times Magazine , the Washington Post , Cosmopolitan , Glamour , etc.) was initially inspired to track down her former lovers when an old college flame found her six months before her 40th birthday, at a time when, although happily married, "I was staggering t...

| Read Full Review of Five Men Who Broke My Heart

Nights and Weekends

Five Men Who Broke My Heart will keep you laughing while forcing you to take a new look at old heartbreaks—and at the relationships that really matter.

| Read Full Review of Five Men Who Broke My Heart

Reader Rating for Five Men Who Broke My Heart

An aggregated and normalized score based on 16 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review