3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Bobby Lomas is the star of this novel that revolves around a group of close-knit friends. Both individually and collectively, they experience the adversity of life first-hand, and in the process, learn a thing or two about what makes life worth living. What’s more, the fact that the incidents depicted are entirely spontaneous and unplanned infuses an element of realism into the stories and offers the reader a snapshot of the human experience.
Bobby, a recently graduated nutritionist, is a highly-spirited youth who never misses on an opportunity for a good time. He probably loves his baby—a 125cc motorcycle—just as much as his girlfriend, Hae Wan; or maybe even more because it never complains after a ride, unlike his girlfriend who is often left frustrated because of his “problem common in young men.” And now, he thinks he’s come across a novel idea to solve his problem, one which won’t involve embarrassing sessions with a sex therapist.
The book A Broken Heart Can Mend by Paul Rodriquez is about second chances at life, just like the title alludes. On top of that, I liked the diversity therein the most, especially because I saw myself in the novel: as an example, Bobby’s girlfriend is Korean while Bobby’s sister, Lori, is engaged to an African American guy. Furthermore, I appreciated the role played by religion in this novel, which was an overarching theme highlighted by Rodriquez, the other being romance.
Bobby’s problem, among a few others highlighted, makes the earlier portion of this story to have an ambivalent tone to it. Given the power of hormones that make young people impulsive, surely, the reader will appreciate how hard it is for them to “just say no” to any of the so-called solutions offered to them by their peers. Besides, I felt Rodriquez’s narrative threads were a tad too much: for example, he’s talked about mass destruction, cancer, hearing aids, sin, human rights, death, promiscuity, vocation, forgiveness, all these on top of the other two themes mentioned above. With this in mind, my advice is that some of these sub-plots could be a stand-alone story in a different setting. Even so, towards the end, the story has a joyful tone to it, hence emotionally satisfying.
As I close, this book needs another round of editing. Many of the errors that I was able to identify touched on missing words and misplaced words in sentences. Further, these errors were enough for me to reduce the rating of the book by a star to 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend the novel to mature readers who like books whose primary focus is on relationships and romantic love between two people. On the other hand, it will be less suitable for those sensitive to religious texts in their stories.
A Broken Heart Can Mend
View: on Bookshelves