by Martina Leonard
Our April book discussion gathering was in Yolonda’s beautiful recently renovated family home, where we were treated to scrumptious cookies and refreshing tea. We discussed the delightful easy reading book The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philipp Sendker.
This poignant and inspirational love story is set in Burma and spans the decades between the 1950’s 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 change her life.
Everyone enjoyed the read and most had an opinion of events shared through the storyline. The possibility of one true love was debated(!) and the twist of Julia discovering her roots and extended family. The pace was slow, intermingled with characters that in the finale come together. A touching and heart-warming story that was both moving and enlightening. As always we learned more about different cultures, the impact of obedience and family values in other countries.
One of the nicest parts of our club is hearing different interpretations, and being made aware of points missed in the story line, giving an explanation to what may have seemed like a thread missed by the author. Looking forward to our next discussion night when we will travel to a different country and culture!