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Book Description
With the insight, humor, and compassion we have come to expect from her, Maeve Binchy tells a story of family, friends, patients, and staff who are part of a heart clinic in a community caught between the old and the new Ireland.

Dr. Clara Casey has been offered the thankless job of establishing the underfunded clinic and agrees to take it on for a year. She has plenty on her plate already—two difficult adult daughters and the unwanted attentions of her ex-husband—but she assembles a wonderfully diverse staff devoted to helping their demanding, often difficult patients.

Before long the clinic is established as an essential part of the community, and Clara must decide whether or not to leave a place where lives are saved, courage is rewarded, and humor and optimism triumph over greed and self-pity.

Heart and Soul is Maeve Binchy at her storytelling best.


Review

"Good-hearted [and] entertaining...[Heart and Soul] reflects a pervasive generosity of spirit [and] offers many honest pleasures." –Bill Sheehan, The Washington Post

"Another delightful Binchyesque amalgamation of intersecting lives...the collective, charming effect of these story lines suggests that individuals are more connected than they might think." –Publishers Weekly

"Only a curmudgeon could resist this master of cheerful, read-by-the-fire comfort." –Kirkus Reviews

"Interweaving the domestic narratives of a dissimilar collection of individuals is beloved Binchy's stock-in-trade, and once again, she does so with sublime ease, inventively engaging readers through a reassuring and persuasive combination of gracious warmth, gentle humor, and genuine affection." –Carol Haggas, Booklist

“Ambitious and intelligently conceived...A heart clinic is really the perfect metaphor for how this book feels. It's a warm and comfy world [and reading Heart and Soul is] not unlike getting a hug from your mother...Binchy's millions-strong readership...will not be disappointed.” –William Kowalski, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"Oh, the bliss...Maeve's back, on top form...The heart is the theme, literally and metaphorically, and this is heartwarming stuff–sweet but never cloying." –The Times

"[Maeve Binchy] knows how to fashion a minor drama into a crisis, and the book rattles along from one gripping story to another, leaving the reader with a satisfying glow...It does exactly what it says on the tin: gives heart and soul." –Daily Mail

"[Heart and Soul] brings together the secret hopes and dreams of a disparate group of characters...with [Binchy's] trademark warmth and empathy." –Irish Sunday Independent

"Maeve Binchy's latest novel is packed as usual with wonderful characters...Full of warmth, caring and commonsense." –CHOICE

Warm and real, October 18, 2008
By Sissel M. Østdahl "smaureen" (Norway)


It's something comforting about Maeve Binchy's books. The cliché about a book being like a good friend, is so very right in her case. Of course, one is interested in finding out what happens to the characters, but there is no hurry. In the case of this book, it is much more preferable to sit down with a cup of tea and read quietly a couple of hours before going to bed.

"Heart and Soul" is a book to be devoured and there are many actors on the stage in Dublin. First there is Clara Casey, senior cardiac specialist at a new heart clinic at St. Brigid's Hospital, Clara's two daughters Adi and Linda, who in their twenties are having trouble settling down and finally, her ex-husbandf Alan, who is asking Clara for a divorce in order to marry a much younger woman.

Coming to work at the clinic is also Ania, a young girl who has travelled from Poland in ord to mend a broken heart. Young Doctor Declan Carroll was originaly meant to spend a six-month posting at the clinic but meats beautiful nurse Fiona. And then there is Father Bryan Flynn, whose life is turned upside down when his reputation is threatened.

Extra spice is added when we also meet old friends from both "Scarlet Feather", "Evening Class", "Quentins", "Nights of Rain and Stars" and "Whitethorn Woods". Nora, who is still called Signora, & Aidan, and Brenda at Quentins, where Declan takes Fiona out to dinner for the first time.

"Heart and Soul" is a book about ordinary people with ordinary lives. Joy and sorrow, struggle and hopes. And as always, the author shows us the importance of the small things i life - which often do not prove so small after all.

Maeve Binchy is a wonderful storyteller, who has once again written a book which grows on the reader and is slowly creeping into our heart and soul.

Enjoy!

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