Made to Break Your Heart

Richard Fellinger

Made to Break Your Heart by Richard Fellinger
A finalist for the 2017 Somerset Award for the Novel. Made to Break Your Heart is a family saga, set in a gossipy suburb, that explores the complexities of raising a child, holding a marriage together, and maintaining your sanity in the cutthroat world of Little League baseball. It’s 2008, and Nick Marhoffer is a stressed-out dad who finds himself flirting with thoughts of infidelity. While his job is being threatened by a crumbling economy, he’s fraught with anxiety over his only son’s well-being. So when his son starts playing baseball, Nick becomes a rabid Little League dad who loses sight of what’s good in his life. After developing a crush on a gorgeous team mom, he can’t decide between her and his wife, then finds himself at risk of losing everything that’s most important to him. This is a smart, sexy, and funny novel about bad breaks, bad decisions, and the long road of life.

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed the review on Monday about a relationship that almost didn’t get off the starting line.

This week’s review is also about a complicated relationship. But this time it’s about a married guy struggling to hold his marriage together rather than convincing the girl to go out with him.

Story overview

The global financial crisis (GFC) is something I remember clearly happening in 2008 when this book is set. Following a series of banks in the US collapsing a number of domino like effects happened. As a result, Nick lost his job at the newspaper.

Nick’s experience during this time doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how bad some families were affected. Over the two year span immediately before and after the GFC we follow Nick and his struggles to keep his family together.

Leading up to the GFC Nick struggles to be a good father, husband and coach to his son’s baseball team. During, and immediately after the GFC Nick pick’s up the pieces of his life while he desperately tries to find a job he’s passionate about. Given the job climate this is a struggle that leads him to potentially murky waters with another woman.

In light of those actions, he’s kicked out of his own house by his wife as she believes he’s cheating on her. Throughout the book we follow Nick’s perspective and learn just how clueless he is about women as he struggles to save his marriage.

My thoughts

I will warn you that this read is a slow grand kind of book to me. Unlike many books that I read, I found that I wasn’t hooked in at any given point in time. There was no buy in or emotional investment in the characters.

The way the story was structured it felt like I was reading directly from Nick’s diary. And it felt like her was just trying to come out alive and with a woman by his side. He never made an effort to even talk to his wife about how he was feeling. So how could she have known what he needed from her?

The concept of this story is great. I mean, how many times do we hear this story from the woman’s perspective? Unfortunately, the delivery didn’t quite hit the mark to make this a great success.

It lacked the pizaz and attention grabbing moments that hook you in and keep you hooked. I ended up feeling like I was reading this purely for the sake of finishing it to write this review.

And I’m glad I did because it was a different perspective. It showed that break ups happen over time and that fighting for the relationship can make a difference to save it.

But I honestly can’t say I’ve ready it again. Especially since I found myself making excuses to do other things. Such as cleaning the house! Just to avoid reading.

So if you enjoy complex books that make you think. But don’t necessarily have that hook, line and sinker moments you come to expect. Then you could really enjoy this one.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Monday I will be reviewing A Conversation with a Cat by Stephen Spotte.


Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below!

This review contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link I, or the author, will receive a small commission from the sale. This comes at no additional cost to you.

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