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Heart and Soul [Kindle Edition]

Maeve Binchy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description


“A modern day women’s writer in the Jane Austen sense.” –Lauren Daley, The Standard-Times

"Sweet indulgence...Heart and Soul is a delicious delight." –Lindsey Losnedahl, Las Vegas Review-Journal

"Heart and Soul is a pleasant escape into an entertaining fantasy world across the ocean...[Binchy] once again paints a delightful picture of Ireland that elevates the everyday joys and tragedies of her characters to ones of pure romance." –Karin Greenberg, Woodbury Magazine

“A new Maeve Binchy novel is always welcome...Binchy has a true gift of creating characters we either know or wish we knew...Heart and Soul creates a perfect escape.” –Michele Ross, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“At the end of a long week, a long winter, a long economic downturn, [Maeve Binchy’s Heart and Soul is] exactly what we need.” –Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"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

Product 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3703 KB
  • Print Length: 562 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (Feb. 17 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLL98C
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gentle Slice of Irish Life Nov. 13 2012
By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
"Heart and Soul" is another slice of Irish life by Maeve Binchy, in this case detailing the lives of a group of people who come together to create a heart clinic attached to a local hospital, their patients and other individuals related to the staff. Clara Casey is the cardiologist who takes on the thankless task of setting up the clinic, which largely involves battling a hospital bureaucrat, Frank Ennis, to obtain the funds she needs to run the place; in addition, she is coping with her two young adult daughters and an ex-husband who continues to intrude into her life, even though they've been separated for years. She quickly recruits a young resident (Declan Carroll), two nurses (Fiona and Barbara), an office manager (Hilary), a physiotherapist (Johnny) and nutritionist (Lavender) and, finally, a young Polish girl, Ania, to be a sort of maid-of-all-work for the clinic. Very soon, the lives of all of these people become entangled with and enriched by each other and by their patients; romances bloom and fade, parents and children fight and reconcile (or not), and life continues on in all its messy glory.... I've come late to the joys of Maeve Binchy's writing, having only discovered her in 2012, but this is definitely a case of better late than never. Her stories are full of interesting characters leading ordinary lives; she doesn't sugar-coat the more depressing parts of life, but she doesn't dwell on the negative either, and instead she just shows how ordinary, complicated people are interconnected in so many ways. Recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart and Soul Sept. 19 2009
If you like Maeve Binchy books, this is another enjoyable story about the people who put together and run a new heart clinic. The characters are warm and friendly and the story is sprinkled with appearances of many of our other favourite Maeve Binchey characters. These are all people that I could imagine knowing and wanting to know. It's also nice to find out how they have all fared over the years. If you want a comfortable leisurely read this is well worth the effort.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back in the game Dec 13 2008
Maeve Binchy has written some duds recently, especially Nights of Rain & Stars, but so far (I'm about 25% of the way through), Heart and Soul is as good as anything she's written, if not one of her best. Some characters appear from previous novels, such as Evening Class and Quentins, but you don't have to have read those novels to follow the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It wasn't good Dec 4 2010
First off up until now I loved everything that Maeve has written. This book however, isn't up to her usual standard. I found the writing very loose and simple and in fact blah. The novel didn't read like a novel but rather a anthology of short stories plunked together with the characters somehow related to one another.

I gave a two star review mainly because it was Binchey who wrote it. In reality it deserved a one in my opinion.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Maeve Binchy deftly demonstrates that kind, uplifting support can be found in a hospital's heart clinic (helping those who have had heart disease to lead healthier lives) as well as in a loving woman's kitchen. Fans of Ms. Binchy's earlier books will be delighted to find many of their favorite characters playing important roles in Heart and Soul that build on their prior histories.

As the book opens, a hospital's board is considering whether or not to take a rich offer for a disused storage depot. When a possible therapeutic use is proposed, the board members quickly shift direction. There's space . . . but not much money available when Dr. Clara Casey agrees to head the heart clinic. She finds it easy to attract a great staff but fights an on-going and frustrating battle with Frank Ennis who wanted to sell the depot.

The story follows the clinic over its first year and develops several story lines about love. Dr. Casey is separated from her husband (who likes young women) and is having a hard time with two grown daughters who live at home. Where will she take the clinic and her personal life?

Hilary Hickey rues the clinic beautifully and keeps Frank Ennis at bay, but she's finding it more and more difficult to deal with her mother's failing mental health. What's the right next step? Should her mother go into a home?

Dr. Declan Carroll has a heart of gold, but no girl friend. He's immediately attracted to Nurse Fiona Ryan. Is she over her old boyfriend Shane who treated her so badly when she was pregnant?

Chemist Peter Barry doesn't know what to do about his daughter, but he's devoted to his patients. Can he overcome having been a widower raising a daughter alone to find love again?
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars a rewarding blend of laughter and tears March 4 2009
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
For many audio book aficionados Sile Bermingham may well have become the voice of Maeve Binchy and the endearing characters the author creates. I remember with great pleasure Bermingham's reading of Whitethorn Woods - concise, pure, perfectly enunciated with clarity to spare. Such is the case with her narration of Heart and Soul. Once again she embodies the characters, bringing a distinctiveness to each.

A lifetime member of the Actor's Studio and no stranger to stage or screen she has given a multitude of laudable performances, such as the roles of Jody in 2.22 and Lilly in Griffin & Phoenix. She brings much of her professional training to her narrations, and we listeners are the beneficiaries.

Fans of Maeve Binchy know that she has the gift of bringing both laughter and tears to readers/listeners. (I'm thinking especially of Scarlet Feather). Her characters are seldom the rich or the famous but quite ordinary folks which makes her stories all the more accessible and meaningful to most of us. Dr. Clara Casey is a good case in point. She has taken on the task of establishing a new heart clinic at St. Brigid's Hospital. Thus, we follow not only the staff but the lives of the patients who enter the clinic's doors.

Add to this Clara's personal life - two grown daughters who bring worries and Clara's former husband is also on the scene. As in most hospitals there are a multitude of drama that occur each day - there is distress, fear, loss, love, the gamut of human experiences. However, all is in the capable, caring hands of Maeve Binchy.


- Gail Cooke
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