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Made to Break Your Heart

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  16 reviews

"Reminiscent of another fine Pennsylvania novel, John Updike’s The Centaur.”—J. Michael Lennon, author of Norman Mailer: A Double Life



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

...more
Kindle Edition
Published May 9th 2017
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  28 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Debbie
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story about a man, his wife and son growing up in a small community outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was very poignant and entertaining. Nick is the father, husband and little league coach for his son. This story shows little league in its true colors and with parent involvement, it's not a pretty sight. However, there were some very funny moments in which I laughed out loud.

Nick's wife seems to have a huge chip on her shoulder. And, as they do live in a very small town where ev
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Veronica Mckenna
Apr 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am not Sure if the reviewers are friends with the author, or were high when they read it? That I all I can assume in connection to the 4 and 5 star reviews. This book was dull and lacked depth or emotion. I don’t know why anyone felt sympathy for The hero, he was. Self absorbed man child who whines bout everything. His wife was not perfect? Shocking! He reviews saying he didn’t cheat are wrong, he had an emotional affair in my book. He be Rocco we’re disgustong assholes! I was done when the he ...more
Gale Martin
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is so wonderful to settle into a book by a highly skilled writer like Fellinger. His effortless style makes you feel like you are wearing your favorite cotton sweater while reading this novel. His prose sings and his vignettes are luminous--particularly the agonies and ecstasies of little league baseball coaching. It offers more than a little voyeurism, looking over the shoulder of Nick Marhoffer, the viewpoint narrator, who freely offers his thoughts, his temptations, and his lip-biting and ...more
Kayo
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Real life. Good storyline.
Emma Rowson
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made to Break Your Heart tells the story of Nick Marhoffer, a married father of one. When his son, Wesley starts to play baseball, Nick becomes the team coach and quickly becoming involved to the point of obsession with Little League as a way of escaping the stresses of his everyday life. Very soon he becomes drawn to the Mum of one of the players on his team, and thus begins a moral conflict for Nick - his wife, or the other woman.
I was initially drawn to Made to Break Your Heart because I was
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Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
Summary: It’s good to live in a community where people watch out for each other — except when they scrutinize you a bit too closely.

Nick Marhoffer and his wife, Marcy, live in Misty Hill, an upper middle-class suburb of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Nick is a journalist for the local newspaper and Marcy works for a big public relations firm. They have one all around average kid, their 7-year-old son, Wesley.

Nick signs Wesley up for Little League and agrees to coach a team. Nick figures he can handle
...more
FreshBrewBooks
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating is 3.5

Made to Break Your Heart follows Nick Marhoffer, a reporter who struggles balancing his job during the global financial crisis of 2008, his family and coaching a little league team. Due to the pressures of his life and feeling a lack of support from his wife, he starts to find his eyes wandering to the mother of one of his little league players, Tess Sugarmeier.

The novel is easy to read and almost reads like a succession of diary entries. However, I found that I was never e
...more
Mary Brown
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me laugh a few times and cringe once or twice, but overall it was a well written novel. The reference to a calculus exam made me both laugh and cringe. Another reader mentioned that she didn't like the character of the wife and that's how I felt too in the beginning, but I think that's because the narrator didn't like his wife in the beginning. He, and we the readers, see her differently as the story progresses.

As a baseball mom myself I appreciated the baseball backdrop for the
...more
Sharon
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Misty Hill is a town where everyone knows everyone's business and Nick Marhoffer found this out the hard way.  After signing up for coach of his son's new baseball team, meeting the hot and sexy Diet Coke Mom, and losing his job at the newspaper during the great recession, the stress was unbearable.  When conceivable, but untrue, rumors spread that he was sleeping with Tess, aka Diet Coke Mom, Nick's world crumbles.  His wife, Marcy, kicks him out with nothing to live on, but credit cards.  Hole ...more
Kassandra
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank You Open Books and Bookglow for providing a free e-book copy for me to review

Nick Marhoffer is a coach for his son's little league team. Nick thought the other dads took the game a little too seriously, and he made it his mission to make the game fun and enjoyable.

His marriage has been a little tense since losing his job, and he is quickly losing sight of everything good in his life. He starts to have a crush on one of the moms on his team and his life spirals out of control once rumors re
...more
Alice  Wallace
I picked up this book from the author at a book fair. Although I knew the premise was about family/marriage issues, I was unsure how much I would enjoy it because the other theme was Little League Baseball. (I am not a sports fan.) So it was a surprise when I read this in just a couple of days. It was written in an easy-to-read format and kept drawing me back to see what would happen next to the primary characters. I've lived in small-town America and had children who participated in sports, and ...more
Christina
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, sports fans, summer read
I just finished “Made to Break Your Heart” and now I can breathe again. I pretty much read it for two days straight until I finished. It has everything I was looking for in a novel. I found myself smirking at times because of the little league references (as I am sure things are the same in every suburb across America) but what I loved about it was it wasn’t only about baseball. It was about American life and how things can get turned around so easily. It was about family and how quickly things ...more
Marc Levy
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, finely crafted book, so well controlled and focused by Fellinger that it reminded me of Russell Banks' "The Sweet Hereafter." It had lough-out-loud moments. It had moments where you cringed for Nick Marhoffer, barely able to read on out a sort of pity for Nick and fear for what was coming next for him, deserved or not. Very lifelike, very believable stuff, such real moments that it makes you think about your own life while you're reading it, and for a long time afterward. Excellent wo ...more
Joel Winters
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. Rick effortlessly moves between the fragile complexity of prepubescent boys, manhood, and the evolution of "family." Both the innocence of childhood and the perils of attraction are used to craft a compelling story. The characters are believable, and their journey entertains as Rick uses his intimate knowledge of Pennsylvania and youth sports coaching to frame the tale.
Proud Book Reviews
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.

Le
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Ted
rated it did not like it
Mar 14, 2017
Barb Ream
rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2017
Erika
rated it did not like it
Jul 21, 2017
Jeff
rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2017
Deborah
rated it liked it
Sep 13, 2017
Wendy Fellinger
rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2017
Jane Ann
rated it it was amazing
Aug 11, 2017
Celia
rated it it was ok
Jul 09, 2017
Tracie
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading the book and loved it. Each character made me feel like I knew him/her from my own town. This isn't just about dads coaching, but the moms and the other families on the teams. It accurately depicts many feelings I have experienced which made it even more interesting to read and caused me to laugh at a few of the situations. Great 1st novel and I'm looking forward to more from this author.
Carol
rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2017
Angella Howard
rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2018
Kelly Huddleston
rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2017
Open Books
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May 05, 2018
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Richard Fellinger is an award-winning writer, a writing fellow at Elizabethtown Collge, and a former journalist. His debut novel, Made To Break Your Heart, was published in 2017 by Open Books. He won the 2011 Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award for his short story collection, They Hover Over Us. He's also a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the 2008 Flash Fiction Contest at Red Cedar Review. ...more