Best Breakups in Literature

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Netflix is full of surprises this month. First, they announce the Beyoncé film Homecoming with nothing more than a week’s notice. And then they release Someone Great, a romcom starring none other than Gina Rodriquez and Lakeith Stanfield. (Damn!) Not only does this movie boast an incredible cast – did we mention Brittany Snow and DeWanda Wise also star? – it also turns the romcom genre on its head. Instead of following a love story, Someone Great follows a breakup. Which got us thinking about all the truly for-the-best breakups in literature.

Minor spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution!


Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff

When Grace walking away from Jes at the end of Grace and the Fever, it’s one hundred percent the right decision. Grace has spent enough time with the band to see right through the façade and it’s not all glitz and glamour. But it wasn’t an easy decision. No one gave her an ultimatum – in fact, no one in Grace’s IRL world even knew they were together. But she wasn’t happy. And he wasn’t terribly kind. And in the end, she wanted a real life – a boring life. Because boring’s the best kind.



The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

When Daniel and Lindsay from The Ensemble agreed to try a non-traditional marriage – “Let’s be married like us,” Lindsay said – he knew deep deep down that it wouldn’t last. Lindsay’s mother was always taking the train up to Boston to stay on their couch, Daniel’s mother didn’t like Lindsay one bit, and Lindsay’s father was living in a knockoff Airstream with a woman much younger than his own daughter. Lindsay and Daniel got married out of spite. And when they got divorced, it was quiet and exactly right. He was in love with someone else. He was in love with his best friend.



The Mothers by Brit Bennett

When Nadia leaves Luke in The Mothers to go to college, the entire world opened up to her. She was no longer the girl who’d slept with the pastor’s son, the girl who’d gotten pregnant out of wedlock, the girl who’d gotten an abortion despite growing up in the church – no. She was Nadia: accomplished student, steadfast friend, and someone who’s completely devoted to putting herself and her education first. Luke even finds love again, so it’s win-win. Until she goes back to Oceanside for a visit. And then all bets are off.



The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang

When Saina and Grayson from The Wangs vs The World call off their engagement, Saina’s father is completely unphased. He hated Grayson and he was glad the man was out of her life. Never mind that Charles Wang had paid for the entire wedding, or that Grayson had been cheating on her – that he was having a baby with another woman. That mediocre man was out of his daughter’s life and that was all that mattered. When Saina sold their shared New York apartment out from under Grayson, all she wanted was escape. Which is what led her to a big house in the Catskills – and a beautiful and exciting life in a new town. Until her father calls to say the whole family is moving in. All of them.