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Heart and Soul Paperback – 9 Jul 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 167 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (9 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752884646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752884646
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Maeve Binchy's latest novel is packed as usual with wonderful characters ... Full of warmth, caring and commonsense. (CHOICE)

She knows how to fashion a minor drama into a crisis, and 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 and heart and soul. (DAILY MAIL)

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's comfy prose is as warming as cocoa. (METRO)

To read it is like being wrapped up in pink blanket with a hot-water bottle - but, make no mistake, there is magic at work. (Elizabeth Buchan SUNDAY TIMES)

HEART AND SOUL is another instant classic, infused with Maeve's trademark warmth, charm and compassion. ... she is the Queen of Fiction and one of the funniest and and best-loved storytellers in the world. ... once you read Maeve you are hooked for life. (IRISH TIMES)

Book Description

A novel full of warmth and magic from No. 1 bestselling author Maeve Binchy.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.

Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
When I picked this book up, I knew it would contain characters who would become important to me and situations I would think about. I was not disappointed. I found Clara Casey to be a thoroughly engaging central character and the focal point of a clinic was a good choice, with the dramas and lives of the staff and patients providing a great narrative.

However, the real joy was in picking up the threads of other characters from Scarlet Feather, Nights of Rain and Stars and also Whitethorn Woods.

I was hooked until the end and am now almost desperate to book a table at Quentins - Early Bird menu for me though! Thank you Maeve.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Binchy's books and eagerly awaited this one. I wasn't disappointed - soon I was back in her world of quirky Irish characters. I didn't want this to end and felt the book stopped a little too soon. I loved the reference to characters from past books and the overlapping lives, making me remember the characters as friends I'd met long ago and were happy to be re-acquainted with. Binchy weaves a colourful, vivid tale that I most thoroughly enjoyed. If you like character driven novels, this one is for you!
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By RC VINE VOICE on 14 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge Maeve Binchy fan as I know everytime I read one of her books, I'll be transported straight over to Dublin and feel as if I'm suddenly a part of the communities she creates. Heart & Soul is based around the trials and tribulations of the characters that visit a new Heart clinic in Dublin. The head doctor, Clara Casey is instantly likeable with her troubled daughters, annoying ex-husband and her no nonsense manner. She hires numerous people to help at the centre so you get to meet Frank Ennis and his old-fashioned ways, Ania, the Polish girl with a heart of gold but many secrets and I have to say that I was thrilled when the twins Simon and Maud from Jarleth Crescent appeared once more. There are ups and downs along the way and the multiple stories keep you hooked. Heart & Soul is a no brainer choice for a holiday read as you'll be entertained for hours.
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Format: Hardcover
I must admit that my favourite Maeve Binchy novel is Scarlet Feather so what joy to see how the twins are getting on. Still completing each others sentances. We meet new characters as well and they each have their own story. I like this format and I also like happy endings, so this book was a winner for me.
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Format: Paperback
I feel I owe Maeve an apology after slagging off her last few books as being flimsy and repetitive. I STILL couldn't resist buying this one and actuallly I really enjoyed it. Strong characters, warm storylines, very representative of modern Dublin with its urban backdrop and international cast. A return to form!
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By Potterywhizz VINE VOICE on 16 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Classic comfortable read from a feel good author. The main character, Clara was inspiring. There are no huge dramas in this book but so much that we can all relate to in our ordinary lives. Maeve Binchy is at her very best when she describes family life and relationships. I would have liked her to show us more of Clara's final romance but nothing is perfect. Very well worth buying.
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Format: Hardcover
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?
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