Only Love Can Break Your Heart - by Ed Tarkington
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books; 1st edition (January 5, 2016)
Language: English

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary 3-month subscription to BOTM to facilitate review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.


“Love can make people do terrible things.”

Welcome to Spencerville, Virginia, 1977. Eight-year-old Rocky worships his older brother, Paul. Sixteen and full of rebel cool, Paul spends his days cruising in his Chevy Nova blasting Neil Young, cigarette dangling from his lips, arm slung around his beautiful, troubled girlfriend. Paul is happy to have his younger brother as his sidekick. Then one day, in an act of vengeance against their father, Paul picks up Rocky from school and nearly abandons him in the woods. Afterward, Paul disappears.

Seven years later, Rocky is a teenager himself. He hasn’t forgotten being abandoned by his boyhood hero, but he’s getting over it, with the help of the wealthy neighbors’ daughter, ten years his senior, who has taken him as her lover. Unbeknownst to both of them, their affair will set in motion a course of events that rains catastrophe on both their families. After a mysterious double murder brings terror and suspicion to their small town, Rocky and his family must reckon with the past and find out how much forgiveness their hearts can hold.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart - by Ed Tarkington

I couldn't say it any better than Stephen King. Books have, all of my life, been the one thing I've always gravitated back to from whatever entertainment was popular at the moment. I'm gonna age myself, here, but back in the day when the Atari video game system hit the market my friends and I were all about Pac-Man and Frogger all the other great games it offered. Later, it was the Walkman, Nintendo, and countless other past-time games and gadgets. But, books have always been my best friends, hands down.

I've read all kinds, in many different and wildly divergent genres — from classic to mystery thriller to science fiction to biography and so much more. I love books because they allow me to experience times, places and events that I would never have the opportunity to experience in my real everyday life. A great book draws me in and allows me to completely suspend reality as the words create feelings and imagery within that become “reality” to me for the moment.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart drew me in initially due to the time that the novel was set in. I grew up in the late 70s, 80s, and early 90s and, like the characters in the novel, I was so into vinyl records. Rocky and Paul's conversations and time spent together spinning the vinyl took me right back to my childhood and all of the personal angst I felt during that time as I grew and changed and tried to find out who I was in this world. The plot was engaging and I enjoyed the story all the way through. I was sad when the journey ended. I am definitely very impressed with Ed Tarkington's work and how he really dug into all the nooks and crannies of this tale. I will definitely be looking out for other novels from him in the future with great anticipation.

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I chose this title from among five selections as a member of Book Of The Month® Club.

Book Of The Month® is a great way to get a new book to read every month, which fits not only into my love of reading but is also great for expanding my horizon to books I might not otherwise hear about. Signing up is easy and hassle-free (more on that in a minute), you get to choose the book you receive from five hand-picked selections, and the best part of all… there is no contract to sign! I can't tell you how many book clubs I've signed up for over the years that require a term-length contract and a certain number of purchases. Ugh, who wants to deal with keeping up with that?! With Book Of The Month® you choose how long you want to remain a member and when it's time for membership renewal you will receive an email to remind you so that you can choose whether to remain a member or cancel. If you want to keep it, do nothing, membership is renewed automatically; otherwise, just go to their website and cancel. I really like that! It takes all the guesswork out of it for me.

On the first of each month, you will receive an email from BOTM, letting you know that it is time to head to their website and check out the current month's book selections. You have until the 6th day of the month to make your selection, or you can do nothing and their randomly selected title will be shipped to you on the 7th day of the month. All of their members selections ship out on the same day so that the books are received at the same time, allowing for members to be able to participate in the discussion rooms for their chosen book (completely optional).

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If you are interested in joining a book club that gives you options for membership instead of rules, you might consider Book Of The Month® Club. It's been a great 3 months checking out their program. I've enjoyed it so much that I have gone all in and decided to continue my subscription. Personally, I chose the monthly membership for now. Later on, when I have some cash set aside, I will probably change to the 12-month membership to save money. But, $16.99 is still a great price for a new hardback book every month! And I love that they give you the option to choose other titles (in addition to your monthly selection) for only $9.99 each.

This service also offers discussion groups for their club selections each month. I really LOVE this feature! It's like belonging to a book club without the hassle of planning your life around the meetings. You can participate as your own schedule allows. It's great!

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