I’m doing a double post, because frankly, one book doesn’t go without the other in this instance. Jan-Philipp Sendker has a sequel of books that came out last January and the other just recently. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and A Well Tempered Heart.
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.
A Well Tempered Heart – Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father’s native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads; her boyfriend has recently left her, and she is, despite her wealth, unhappy with her professional life. Julia is lost and exhausted.
One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a stranger’s voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation. In the following days, her crisis only deepens. Not only does the female voice refuse to disappear, but it starts to ask questions Julia has been trying to avoid. Why do you live alone? To whom do you feel close? What do you want in life?
Interwoven with Julia’s story is that of a Burmese woman named Nu Nu who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers . This spirited sequel, like The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, explores the most inspiring and passionate terrain: the human heart.
These books at first for me at least I didn’t think would appeal to me, since I’ve been finding it hard to read just about nothing in the genre. But these two books have opened me to getting back to that genre. Lately, I don’t know if it has or had to do anything about love/romance/or even that genre that has me off them, I haven’t been able to read anything except for thriller/action/suspense genre instead. Even then it seems that if it doesn’t catch me right off the bat, Im off to find another in those genres that will hold my interest for more then an hour.
These books are like poetry. A story within a story, where the main characters are entwined. They have a connection they can both feel, but only one knows it and tells the tale in the first book. When the story is told and the final part of the story revealed, do you understand how intricate their lives will become to one another. How love between 2 people can span an entire lifetime. Something that holds you back from giving everything in a current relationship, you leave to go back to that first one love that completes you, the one that started it all off. It did hit a few instances for me in my real life, past and present.
The second book, there is something wrong in her life. Something is talking to her in her mind that she either can’t or won’t let go. Her job is suffering, her personal life is suffering. She goes back to Burma to see what it is that is troubling her. In the end of the book, you know that I don’t give out spoilers is one that will touch your heart. In my case, it felt that there is a third book that needs to be written to have the storyline go fully and completely. The pain and anguish of the characters, the situation they are in will transport you to the spot where everything happens, then leave you breathless wanting more.
I really enjoyed reading both books. Maybe this will fill your heart with more, maybe they will make you want to throw them up against the wall. I just think you should read them, and ponder the hidden messages that are inside the stories. Maybe give you some sort or direction in which way you want to go if you are finding yourself in a rut or in a time where you need to make a change in your life – for the better.