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Contemporary Fiction

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

by Ed Tarkington

Quick take

Like The Wonder Years or A Christmas Story, Tarkington's ability to shine a retrospective light on the painful awkwardness of childhood is masterful and entertaining.

Why I love it

Neil Young's hit 1970s song about love, loneliness and heartbreak lends its title to this wonderful coming-of-age novel. It's the perfect namesake for Ed Tarkington's story about all kinds of love, and learning that the things you think you understand when you are a child, may not have been what they seemed at the time.

1977: The narrator, an eight-year-old boy named Rocky, lives in a small Virgin...

Member thoughts

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129 ratings
  • 34% Love
  • 51% Like
  • 8% Dislike
    February 2016 selections