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Tidewater Review by Anne Stinson

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, NC. 320 pp. $25.95. This first novel by Ed Tarkington irritated me for longer than it should have done. It was published in January, but the publisher sent me a copy early on. It sat on my desk, ignored and scorned. I was simply turned off by the title ~ Only Love Can Break Your Heart ~ too much like a book written for teen-aged girls. Or maybe it would be a book like a romance novel, all with the same teasing itch, the same number of pages, ditto the girl meets boy. (It’s never the other way around. Boys and men wouldn’t be caught dead reading a romance novel.) She hates him, then adores him, they split the lovey-dovey, they part over some terrible calamity like a broken fingernail and copious tears, no sex before marriage, and other standard recipes to wind it up with wedding bells. If you love the way a romance novel is written and can hardly turn the pages fast enough, enjoy yourself. It’s not my cup of tea. So it sat on my desk, day after

miserable day. Eventually it was like going to the dentist. Just do it and have it over, finished, at least it’s better than squirming. So I read it. My prediction of boredom was flat-out blasted. Ed Tarkington is a first rate-writer. Okay, I was wrong. (Not about the title, I insist. It’s mawkish.) But the story, oh my Lord, the story is wonderful. I opened the book to the

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April 2016 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times April 2016

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