Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Well-Tempered Heart

A Well-Tempered Heart
by Jan-Phillip Sendker

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: 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 career and wealth leave her longing for more.  When her personal life falls apart, she finds herself at a crossroads.

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 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.
From the book jacket

Review:  I was surprised to see this book at the library as I wasn't aware that there was a sequel and I didn't feel that The Art of Hearing Heartbeats needed a sequel. But since I loved the first book so much I had to read this one.  The beginning was very slow and strange-it was all about how Julia started hearing a voice.  The story didn't pick up until she arrived in Burma and met with the woman who knew Nu Nu's story.  I waited for the magic of the first book to sweep me away but it never really did.  The story of Nu Nu was not as magical nor as beautiful as the story in the first book.  In fact, it wasn't uplifting at all.  Her story made me sad and made me not like Nu Nu.  I also had a hard time with Julia because I felt like she struggled a lot more in this book and was kind of annoying.  It was still a good book but not as amazing as the first book.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

To read my review of The Heart of Hearing Heartbeats, click here.

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