Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Heart and Soul (Maeve Binchy)

(image from Goodreads)

Title: Heart and Soul
Author: Maeve Binchy
Publisher: Anchor, 2010
Notes: I received this book for free from a Fodor's Travel Twitter giveaway.

A brief summary: 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. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts: For some reason, I've been wanting to write my reviews in relation to other popular media. If you liked Love Actually and enjoy watching the American TV show Private Practice, you'll undoubtedly like this book. However, if you don't like either, don't let that be a deterrent.

This book is written from different characters' perspectives, though I would say that Dr. Clara Casey is the primary character. She's the string that ties all the characters together, weaving their complicated lives into something of a community. I think you'll find the changing points-of-view interesting, though sometimes frustrating too. There were times when I wanted the book to continue from one character's perspective!

That being said, I think that the story is showed more than told. I feel a bit torn on how to approach this book; while I, at base, liked the plot and the characters, I felt at times that they lacked emotion or realistic responses; some, with the exception of Clara and Declan, felt a bit flat. This book started strong but seemed to wane a bit as it progressed.

Rating: 3 stars


  1. I've read this book a while ago, recommended by my mom who always enjoys Maeve Binchy's books. I liked it, but agree that some of the characters weren't realistic enough. I really disliked the guy who was running the hospital (or at least the cash flow), trying to shut Clara's department down (can't remember his name).

  2. Daisy, that's exactly it. Frank was his name. And then the ending was very unrealistic (in regard to Frank, I thought). I won't give it away in case anyone reads the comments, but grr. It was too TVesque.

  3. I feel like I should read a Maeve Binchy. I need to expand my canon as far as adult authors go. I'd probably at least like her stuff.

  4. I have an award for you over at my blog:

    Maybe it'll encourage you to post more wonderful reviews? :)

  5. I used to love Maeve Binchy but the last book I read there were so many repetitive words that it got annoying in the end so I haven't read any more of hers.
    Thanks for the review.
    I'm having a book review competition if you're interested.

  6. O it's been much to long since I've read MB. I must remedy that.