Review: Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington

I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Literary Fiction
Publication: 01/05/2016 by Algonquin Books
Pages: 320 Pages
Source: eARC
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
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Goodreads Summary
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 neighbours’ 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.

My Thoughts:
I had a VERY hard time rating this book. I enjoyed my time in this story but I found it slow going. The story follows Rocky as he grows up from the age of 8 until he is in late teens and adulthood. His life took some interesting turns which gives you a new persecutive on how you see our life and your family. 

The biggest reason that I couldn't rate this book higher was that I had trouble connecting to the characters. Most of them just felt distant and I didn't have the feelings that I feel like I should have when bad things were happening to them. I felt like I was looking into the story rather than being immersed in it. However, I got more invested in the story when it took on more of a mystery tone in the second half. I went into this story not knowing a whole lot about the plot and I think I was more enjoyable that way. I feel like the synopsis gives a lot away instead of allowing you to discover it for yourself. 

This is a good book, and it does make you think about many things. I really do think the title suits the book very well and I am adding it to some of my favourite quotes. The big thing for was was that the story just didn't wow me or hit me as emotionally as I thought it should have. If the story intrigues you I definitely recommend it. It's well written and touches on a lot of important topics. It is a good story about family and growing up, and if that's up your alley check it out.

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