Sunday, May 31, 2009

Heart and Soul

by Maeve Binchy

Sometimes I just need to read a sweet, "nice" book. One that doesn't require a lot of soul-searching, deep thinking or emotional commitment. That's how I feel about all of Binchy's books. They are lovely reads, warmly written and make me smile. That doesn't mean that they are fluff by any account, because her books have good character development and can expertly weave an insightful story.

I really like how characters from previous books get intertwined into each new novel. They aren't continuations, but each time an old character is interestingly brought into the new tale. The success of this is that each book takes place in the same area in Ireland. And as you read, you almost develop an Irish accent because of the tone in which they are written. I've both read and listened to Binchy's books and most of the time I can't decide which way I prefer.

Heart and Soul
is about Clara Casey and the heart clinic she has been tasked to run. The story weaves through her life as well as her patient's, family and friend's and the struggle between the new and the old ways of Ireland. To describe it in one word would be enchanting.

A few years ago I had heard that Maeve Binchy was to retire as the author of these great novels. I'm not sure why she hasn't, or if that information was false, but I'm glad she continues to write.

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