It's something comforting about Maeve Binchy's books. The cliché about a book being like a good friend, is so very right in her case. Of course, one is interested in finding out what happens to the characters, but there is no hurry. In the case of this book, it is much more preferable to sit down with a cup of tea and read quietly a couple of hours before going to bed.
"Heart and Soul" is a book to be devoured and there are many actors on the stage in Dublin. First there is Clara Casey, senior cardiac specialist at a new heart clinic at St. Brigid's Hospital, Clara's two daughters Adi and Linda, who in their twenties are having trouble settling down and finally her ex-husband Alan, who is asking Clara for a divorce in order to marry a much younger woman.
Coming to work at the clinic is also Ania, a young girl who has travelled from Poland in order to mend a broken heart. Young Doctor Declan Carroll was originally meant to spend a six-month posting but meats beautiful nurse Fiona. And then there is Father Bryan Flynn, whose life is turned upside down when his reputation is threatened.
Extra spice is added when we also meet old friends from both Scarlet Feather, Evening Class, Nights of Rain and Stars and Whitethorn Woods. Nora who is still always called Signora & Aidan, and Brenda at Quentins, where Declan takes Fiona out to dinner for the first time.
"Heart and Soul" is a book about ordinary people with ordinary lives. Joy and sorrow, struggle and hopes. And as always, the author shows us the importance of the small things in life - which often do not prove so small after all.
Maeve Binchy is a wonderful storyteller, who has once again written a book which grows on the reader and is slowly creeping into our heart and soul.