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 Heart And Soul by Maeve Binchy

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PostSubject: Heart And Soul by Maeve Binchy   Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:04 pm



Okay, it's a little late, but the book for March, 2009 is"

Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy, one of my favorite authors.

Here what Amazon had to say about the novel:

Quote :
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.

Dr. Clara Casey has been offered the thankless job of establishing the underfunded clinic and agrees to take it on for a year. She has plenty on her plate already—two difficult adult daughters and the unwanted attentions of her ex-husband—but she assembles a wonderfully diverse staff devoted to helping their demanding, often difficult patients.

Before long the clinic is established as an essential part of the community, and Clara must decide whether or not to leave a place where lives are saved, courage is rewarded, and humor and optimism triumph over greed and self-pity.

Heart and Soul is Maeve Binchy at her storytelling best.

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PostSubject: Re: Heart And Soul by Maeve Binchy   Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:10 pm

So, once again I am poor this month, as we are busy getting ready for our foster baby!

I plan on reading the book at the store until I can purchase it later this month.

Here are my thoughts on chapter one,

I feel for the main character! Her daughters are ungrateful, and her ex is a bastard. And who the hell leaves his wife for a girl named Cinta? Please!

I love all the workers at the heart clinic, especially Annia (I apologize, I forgot to take notes so I'm probably all wrong about these names). I'm wondering if the good doctor and the guy she hired for security will spark... The best thing about Maeve Binchy, at least for me, is the way she flawlessly tells multiple stories at once, how little things, actions, overlap and how repercussions effect even minor characters.

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PostSubject: Re: Heart And Soul by Maeve Binchy   Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:55 am

Okay, I'm now over halfway done with the book (I know, pretty last minute, but who are you to judge me? XD)

I was going to do it chapter by chapter, but as often happens in good books, I'm devouring it too fast. So I'll just start talking about characters:

Declan- love him! He's just such a decent guy, and it was so sweet how he fell for Fiona. I was terrified that she wouldn't fancy him. His parents make me sad though. They seem so amazed by everything in life, but I really love his dad. When Declan was in the car accident I was shocked! I really was terrified that Maeve was going to kill him off! And thank God Dimples was okay! I really enjoy Declan's handling of the patients, the way he got Kitty to remember her pills and took care of those dogs. As of this report- he and Fiona just got engaged!

Johnny- not entirely sure what to make of him yet. He seems like a great, capable friend to have, but I hope that he falls head over heels in love with someone!

Ania- she is one of my favorite characters. Seeing her past you can understand why she pushes so hard to work and make money. Her story (at least her past) is so sad, but sadly typical. If a guy or girl won't publicly state that you two are dating, chances are he or she is a giant tool. I am so glad that I didn't fall in love at the age of 15. That's just too young to deal with a physical, emotional, and secretive love affair. I was wondering who Maeve would pair Ania up with, and Carl appears to be the one, although there hasn't been much said about that other than is mom is a huge bitch. Let's hope she dies!

Hilary: I appreciate the fact that she wanted to take care of her mother, I do. It's hard to make the decision to send a parent away (especially one you've been so close to). And once the situation got worse, with the help of her son and Ania, things seemed to be under control. Until they weren't. The guilt of her mother's death is still weighing heavy on Hilary's shoulders. But here's the thing that I've noticed, and that I would share with Hilary if I could (you know, if she wasn't a fictional character). Whether you put you dementia suffering mom or dad in a home for old people, the results can be the same. Hilary is beating herself up because she is assuming her mother would have lived for years. But a lot of people decline faster once they are put in a nursing home, or she could have gotten out in the nursing home and caused even more damage. There's no telling in life. And although I don't think she should blame herself, I understand why she does.

Okay, I know there are a dozen more characters, but I will get to that later. I am turning off my computer, because I am pissed at my cd player drive thingamabob.

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PostSubject: Re: Heart And Soul by Maeve Binchy   Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:28 pm

I can not believe that I finished this book on Tuesday and it has taken me me this long to finally sit down and write out my thoughts on it. Especially since I loved this book so much.
I mean this was the first book that I have read in a long time that I didn't want it to end. I've read books recently that I have loved, but when the story is over the story is over. Close the book, take a deep breath and move on. But I didn't want to leave these people.
With so many characters and so many story lines, you wouldn't think there would be a way to feel so connected to each story line, and yet you were.
Well, okay, to be honest, there were some chapters that took me longer to get through then others because it was introducing completely knew characters that were barely even associated to the clinic (like chapter 6; Aiden and Nora Dunne). But by the end of the story you did see how even those chapters would effect the ending. Plus I think Kate is going to add a list of all the characters in this book that were important charachters in other Maeve Binchy work, and I believe that will include Aiden and Nora.
Alright now, who to talk about?
There were too many characters to try to talk about each one. So I am just going to mention the ones I came to care for.
I loved Declan. Smart, funny, caring, red headed, what's not to like? When I finished chapter 2 I was literally numb. The whole relationship between Declan and Fiona was adorable. I loved that in the beginning when Declan was first trying to work out his feelings for her, that his dad stepped in and told the story of how he fell for Declan's mother so
quickly. It really seemed to be what gave Declan the confindence to not doubt his feelings for Fiona.
I loved the part where for their first date he asked her to Quentins, and then he went to the restaurant so he could familar with the place. It was so nice of Brenda Brennan to show him into the kitchen and to just take such an interest in them.
But then when they were getting ready for the dinner with his parents, I mean when you read it, you know something is going to go wrong. But you just never could of anticipated what did go wrong.
When I read;
"He heard the sound of glass breaking, metal buckling and saw the
blood of his only child all over the windshield."
My mouth dropped, my eyes were tearie, my heart stopped, and I could feel all the blood drain out of me. By the time I made it through the last two pages to finish that chapter
I had to put the book aside and brace myself before I could open it again.
I also loved Ania's story. My only wish is that we could have been there when Carl came to get her. I mean I know we got to see him but I wanted to read what he said. How she reacted. I almost cried at that party scene when his mom sent her to the kitchen. God what a bitch!
Okay that is all I am going to write for now. Simply because I am affraid that if I write too much you guys wont read all of it.
So this is just to start with and then I will comment on what you guys
have written.

P.S. I will read anything else by this author so if we want to add any of her works to other months I am so in. I really did love this one.
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PostSubject: Re: Heart And Soul by Maeve Binchy   Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:07 am

Yeah, there were so many characters, but it's amazing that in just a short chapter you can become so connected to them!

I'll try to list who's who and where from:

Fiona and all the Greek characters are from Nights of Rain and Stars- which if you read you will realize how much Fiona really does deserve Declan, even if she thought she didn't.

Tom and Cathy and the twins are from Scarlet Feather.

Brenda is from Quentins.

Aidan and Nora (formally known as Signora) are from Evening Class.

Father Brian is from Whitehorn Woods

Now, some of these people are in more than one book (I'm pretty sure the twins and Tom and Cathy have small roles in Quentins as well as Aiden and Nora, and I think some might show up in Whitehorn Woods- I'm honestly not sure as it's been awhile since I've read any of these books. I actually listened to Nights of Rain and Stars on audio cds.)

Here's the order that I think the books come in:

Evening Class
Scarlet Feather
Quentins
Nights of Rain and Stars
Whitehorn Woods
and now Heart and Soul.

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