Picking Up the Pieces, Recovering from Broken Relationships by Lou Priolo (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing, 2012) 252 pp., paper $10.99

Originally published in 2003 under the title Losing That Loving Feeling, Picking Up the Pieces “addresses a very common human relationship problem: the problem of handling broken relationships, the problem of responding constructively to being rejected by someone for whom you have deep romantic feelings” (p. 9). As such, the book is directed at helping people who have gone through a romantic breakup, including divorce, to react with biblical principles. However, Picking Up the Pieces is applicable to other relationship losses, such as that between parents and children, between siblings and even close friendships.

Priolo structures the book into 31 chapters, one for each day, with the chapter titles being spoofs of popular love songs, mostly from the country music genre. He offers many practical helps and appropriate Scriptures. The author attempts to penetrate the surface of emotions and outward actions and get to the heart. He covers such subjects as what real love is, making idols out of people, hope, forgiveness, worry, self-pity, envy and jealousy, contentment and patience/endurance.

I thought his discussion of forgiveness was a bit weak in that he did not deal with the repentance requirement of Luke 17:3, 4. But overall Picking Up the Pieces is a most helpful resource targeting an all too common event in this fallen world. Anyone suffering through some sort of relational break up will benefit from Priolo’s insights. In addition, this book is a valuable tool for biblical counselors and others attempting to aid those hurting because of relationship issues.