Only Love Can Break Your Heart is the 195th book I’ve read this year. Out of those 195, I’ve only handed out a handful of 5 Star ratings. I don’t know what it was about this novel that sucked me in, but boy did it and I couldn’t put it down. This is one of those books that’s about nothing – but is also about everything. It’s the story of Rocky’s life. How he grew up with a brother he idolized who was 8 years his senior and how everything fell apart one night when said brother left him for dead. It’s about Rocky’s coming of age with a significantly older neighbor and how a life of privilege can be swiftly taken away. It’s about family and growing up and sins of the past and making amends in the present. It’s just . . . . JUST.
This little book pinged my radar for one reason alone – the cover looks remarkably similar to The Good Luck of Right Now which I read and enjoyed last year. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and imitating this cover might end up selling a few books too. Tarkington also might be the fella to give Matthew Quick a run for his money when it comes to writing a can’t-put-downable type of story with an ensemble cast of dysfunctional characters. And best of all, Only Love Can Break Your Heart provided a soundtrack that took me back to my own childhood and the sounds that would spin from the turntable of the relative I idolized . . .
“For me, a vinyl record will always be a sacred object; the practice of sliding the disc from its musty sleeve and setting it onto the turntable and hearing the warm crack of the needle finding its groove, a sacrament – my Holy Communion.”
(Hot damn but the fella can write, right?)
“Hey hey, my my. Rock and roll will never die . . .”
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.