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March 2, 2017 / Leslie

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington

A Rapid Review


Publisher: HighBridge | January 2016
Format: Audio CD | 10½ hours | Rating: 3½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate

Ed Tarkington’s debut novel draws you into a small-town American Gothic story of coming-of-age, brotherhood, and family fealty, first love, scandal, and murder.

What’s it about . . .
This is mostly a coming-of-age-story set in Spencerville, Virginia, in the 1970s. The story goes on to span a lifetime including lots of family drama, small town entanglements, and a mystery.

Our narrator is eight-year-old Rocky Askew. He adores his older half-brother, Paul, a rebellious teen with a cool car and a hot girlfriend. One day Paul disappears with his girlfriend and doesn’t return for seven years. During that time Rocky becomes a teenager and begins his journey toward adulthood, but never forgets about Paul.

What did I think . . ..
This is a nostalgic read for those of us who grew up in the 70s. There are many cultural references and Neil Young songs are mentioned often. But even if one can’t relate to the times, the book is well-written, very readable, and with a host of interesting, although often troubled, characters. There was a lot going on, sometimes too much, but still a worthwhile read.

Audio production . . ..
I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Peter Berkrot. His performance was very enjoyable and a pleasure to listen to with excellent pacing and good character vocals.

Audio Sample at Highbridge.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
Source: Review copy provided by LibraryThing.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Mary / Mar 2 2017 7:26 am

    Your review convinced me I need to try it. Adding it to my audible wish list.


  2. BermudaOnion / Mar 2 2017 8:45 am

    I love stories told from a child’s perspective and I love that time period so this sounds right up my alley.


  3. Suko / Mar 2 2017 11:52 am

    This sounds wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed this audio book.


  4. Diane / Mar 5 2017 9:23 am

    Hmm, I planned on reading this one several times and never got to it. Maybe I should try the audio version. Right now I have have so many books I want to read but find myself wasting time playing Yahtzee and Scrabble obsessively on my phone…..sigh

    Have a nice Sunday Les.


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