Title: Art of Hearing Heartbeats, The
Authors: Sendker, Jan-Philipp
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 325
Year: 2002
Publisher: Other Press
Language: English
Description: In search of her father who disappeared four years earlier, American lawyer Julia Win travels to Burma. There in a remote village the mystery of her father's life is slowly unravelled.

From upscale New York to rural Burma, this is a poignant tale of tender romance, personal sacrifice and the stark contrast between East and West. Poetic in style, mystical in nature. Translated from German. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups:

Beautiful, beautiful book - amazing that a German author (translated) worked so well. Auckland 166

Mixed feelings about this one but everyone agreed it was beautifully written. Auckland 309

Summed up as 'an Asian spiritual fairytale'... The contrast between East and West and the love story at the heart of it were the main points of discussion. Wellington 153

Our group enjoyed this easy-to-read escapist love story. It was rather 'magical' in that one had to suspend belief that events would have occurred as written. Wellington 018

The many facets of the story were sensitively, even delicately told, and the overall ambience was one of serenity and beauty. Cambridge 002

Categories: Fiction, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Grief/loss, Love story, Translation, Burma, Popular Book with Groups, Larger font


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By: INVER 002 2021-08-25 10:23:36
We all loved this book. One said she felt serene when she finished reading. Liked the treatment of death. Translator did great job. We discussed the future for Julia (daughter).

By: NAP 021 2019-11-11 11:06:21
We thoroughly enjoyed this book. Many insights into sight impaired lives and beautifully written (translated). Some sad spots in the book but well worth reading.

By: TAUR 039 2018-09-24 14:49:56
Another great read. It really forces you to take a look at yourself and assess what is really important in life. A beautiful yet sad story.

By: ROTO 002 2018-09-24 14:48:17
Clever translation from German to English, giving an excellent sense of life in Burma. The relationships between the characters prompted great discussion, and there was some thought that the character Jules was a contrivance, and unnecessary. General pleasure at the telling of a wonderful love story.

By: AUCK 293 2018-09-24 14:41:30
A romantic tale about two unlikely characters. Slightly far-fetched, but still an enjoyable read. Beautifully written.

By: WHITIAN 003 2018-09-24 14:40:27
We all absolutely LOVED this book. "So tenderly written; a great love story; very poetic passages" were all comments from the group. We were very glad to have had the opportunity to read it as we would not have chosen it from the library.

By: DUNED 061 2018-09-24 14:36:54
We loved this unanimously, which is unusual for us! A beautiful love story with the perfect amount of 'magical'.

By: OTAKI 001 2018-09-24 14:35:38
All enjoyed the book. There was a need to suspend belief and read the book as a fairy tale, but it was a beautifully written and translated novel. The writing was gentle and sensitive and traumatic events just wafted over the reader. Some felt there were flaws in the plot and with the characters, but it didn't destroy the read.

By: THAM 005 2018-09-24 14:32:53
This book divided the group into those who loved it and those who did not. Those of us who enjoyed it appreciated the writing style, the magic and the romanticism. Some struggled with the setting and found it unrealistic, and not representative of the country or the people. Others embraced the spiritualism and enjoyed the underlying story of love and resilience.

By: MARTIN 005 2018-07-05 21:34:50
All of the group enjoyed this book. However, some found it a bit slow and all agreed there were several glaring plot holes which bothered some more than others. We liked the core of the story, and thought it a nice gentle read.

By: HAMIL 059 2018-06-22 14:57:18
We loved this book. It had a magical feel to it. Enchanting read.

By: CHCH 449 2018-05-07 16:54:59
A slow start to the story but we all finished it and most really enjoyed it. Interesting insights into another culture but some questions were left unanswered. Recommend it for great discussion.

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