Indies Introduce


  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Ed Tarkington
    Algonquin Books, 9781616203825, January 5, 2016 (Fiction)

    Infused with the haunting melancholy of a Southern Gothic novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a suspenseful tale of heartbreak, betrayal, and timeless love. This is, without a doubt, my favorite debut novel this spring!

    Shirley Wells, Watermark Books & Café, (Wichita, KS)

    From the opening paragraph of Ed Tarkington’s wonderful novel, place is firmly established, and when a richly atmospheric setting is coupled with great storytelling, it’s an unbeatable combination. Richard, aka Rocky, first introduced to us as an elementary-age boy, idolizes Paul, his older, cooler half-brother, in a way that reminds me of how I saw my brother when I was a kid, and it is heartbreaking to see his image shattered as events unfold—and unfold they certainly do. Of course, any book anchored with a classic Neil Young song and containing teens coming of age will resonate with me, but I know this one will hit home with many readers. These characters—nay, people—this story and this town will stay with you long after you close this remarkable book. 

    Jenny Lyons, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury VT

    I loved this book! Pure pleasure right from the start and it delivered all the way to the very end. Tarkington tells the story of two half-brothers in a small Virginia town on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they navigate their respective comings-of-age. Narrated by Rocky, the younger of the two, the story tenderly and tangibly weaves its way through the 1970s, exploring and reminiscing about freedom, loyalty, first and true loves, and disappointment and revenge, replete with the perfect soundtrack (principally Neil Young) that takes you back to the very place and time. Tarkington’s characters stayed with me a long time; as soon as I finished I wanted to pick it up and start over again. 

    Linda McLoughlin Figel, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

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