Jude is the youngest of the four Hernandez sisters. She has lived her life in the shadows of her older sisters, but she has also learned a lot of important and wonderful lessons from them. One lesson they won’t let her forget is to never get involved with a Vargas brother. Two of her sisters were left heartbroken by Vargas boys, so the girls don’t want Jude to fall victim to a boy from that family.
Jude tries to keep her promise, but when her beloved father becomes ill, she wants to refurbish his vintage motorcycle as a way to show him how much she loves him and to help him capture some memories. To accomplish this, she has to enlist the help of Emilio Vargas, the youngest brother of the two young men who broke her sisters’ hearts.
In Jude’s attempts to connect with her father, who is fading away by the day, she finds herself drawn to Emilio. Her sisters were right about Vargas boys being irresistible, but were they right about them all being heartbreakers? While Jude’s focus may be on doing something wonderful for her father, her attention is also drawn—quite magnetically—to Emilio.
With grippingly realistic portrayals of family relationships, Sarah Ockler manages to create vivid characters that jump off of the page and move in with the reader. The love between Jude and her father, as he succumbs to the dementia of Alzheimer’s, is moving and painful. Her relationship with her sisters is sweet, but their control over her is frustrating.
The Book of Broken Hearts is a story of loves: between father and daughter, between sisters, between a young woman and man finding true love. This poignant story will stay with readers long after the book is finished.
Emily Booth Masters reviews from Nashville, Tennessee.