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A Well-Tempered Heart Paperback – January 21, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590516400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590516409
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sendker’s follow-up to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (2012) picks up the story a decade after Julia Win traveled to Burma, seeking her missing father. Now a high-powered attorney mourning the end of her engagement, Julia has started hearing the voice of a bereft, heartbroken woman in her head. This voice propels Julia back to Burma, where she is reunited with her half brother, U Ba, who believes the voice belongs to Nu Nu, a woman who recently dropped dead while out for a walk with her sister. U Ba and Julia seek out Nu Nu’s sister, who tells them the sad tale of Nu Nu’s life: her happiness with her husband; the birth of her longed-for first son, Ko Gyi; and the arrival of her second son, Thar Thar, whom Nu Nu couldn’t bring herself to love. Tragedy compelled Thar Thar to step up and take care of his mother and brother, until Nu Nu was forced to make a fateful choice that ripped her family apart. An absorbing, moving sequel that likely portends a third entry. --Kristine Huntley

Review

***AMAZON.COM BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH SELECTION***

"An absolutely transcendent novel that doesn't just dare to understand the human heart, it inhabits it. About love, unspeakable loss, and coming to know what really saves us in life, this is the kind of stunningly perfect novel that changes lives. I know it did mine. To say I loved it is pure understatement." —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow

“Sendker’s follow-up to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats…opens readers’ eyes to a history of buried atrocities…[and] takes pains to develop a realistic world…”  —Publishers Weekly 

“An absorbing, moving sequel.” —Booklist

“In…Sendker’s sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats…[Julia] returns to Burma…for further lessons in love.  Sendker [is] a mesmerizing storyteller.” —Kirkus

“Very literary, it is a story of emotion, of magic, of belief, of many kinds of love and of hope. Like the previous book, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, the sequel is beautifully written…in this series, the mystical elements are as important as the mundane…Many readers will find A Well-Tempered Heart incredibly beautiful and moving.” —RT Book Reviews

“Earnest and endearing, this just-arriving-in-translation sequel to the international mega-bestseller, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, is a through-the-night read that will leave you sighing and swooning…German journalist Jan-Philipp Sendker‘s novels somehow manage to provide a rare, cleansing catharsis…Just as her father followed his heart home, Julia is called back by a desperate stranger with impossible questions from the other side of the world…But before Julia can answer, she must learn in her own heart ”what is important”… might I add, surely a life lesson for us all.”—BookDragon 

“Sendker evokes Burma and the juxtaposition of simple rural lives against a threatening military that demands the lives of their sons—not even as soldiers but as human land mine sweepers—with prose that is lush and as mystical as the villagers’ beliefs.” —Gilmore Guide to Books

"Jan-Philipp Sendker delivers another intriguing tale with A Well-Tempered Heart." —RT Books

"When Jan-Philipp Sendker penned the sequel to his international bestseller The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, romantics worldwide breathed a sigh of relief. In this book readers have the chance to follow Julia Win, a Manhattan lawyer who stumbles upon a journey of self-reflection while picking up the pieces of her personal life. This story of love, loss, and understanding is sure to leave an impression on your heart." —Ladies Home Journal
 
"What begins as a problem-solving quest becomes a journey of self-discovery, sure to resonate with anyone who has ever sought to reinvent oneself." —Shelf Awareness

"...[L]ike poetry.  A story within a story, where the main characters are entwined...[A Well-Tempered Heart] will transport you to the spot where everything happens, then leave you breathless wanting more." —Serendipitous Readings
 
"A winning locale and a lost soul seeking something she is unsure of what make for a delightful sequel." —Genre Go Round Books
 
"[A] hauntingly beautiful sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats... A Well-Tempered Heart touches the reader on many levels. It is a love story: love of a mother for her sons, love between a sister and brother, and love between a man and a woman." —The Freelance-Star

"Once again, author and translator alike, have magically strung a beautiful piece of writing together. This book, like it’s prequel is a beautifully written story with a lyrical style that leaves you wanting more." —Good Book Fairy

"[T]ruly an original, the author’s prose flawless and evocative." —Historical Novels Review

"Engagingly drawn." —BookPage

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By IRG VINE VOICE on January 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved The Art of Hearing Heartbeats so much that I think any "sequel" would have been a hard act to follow. But although this did not touch me in quite the same way, the continuation of the story of this family--in this case the American sister and the "other" brother--did move me.

If you're not into spirituality, journeys into the self, and a lot of Eastern lore, this isn't the book for you. If you enjoyed The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, you will most likely want to continue on the journey to learn more about the family history and to see how Julia emerges from her personal self-crisis.

It took me a bit longer to get into this story than Hearbeats. A character who hears voices generally has me rolling my eyes and cursing this sort of plot device. But I pushed on.

The "other" brother in this tale is such an appealing character that I was grateful for his presence.

All the emotional biggies are here. Love. Loss. Forgiveness.

I quite enjoyed re-entering this world. There is a humanity and authenticity to this fictional narrative that makes you wish the real world held such incredibly loving and brave people.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Charlemange VINE VOICE on December 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed the author's previous novel, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and was glad to see this sequel available in Vine. The story takes place a decade after Julia's visit to Burma to find out about her father. This book is about Julia's unhappiness and rediscovery of what she wants out of life. Julia is suddenly haunted by a woman named Nu Nu, and after consulting with a Buddhist monk and her best friend Amy, returns to Burma for answers.

Like the previous novel, this one relies on tales told by the locals. Reading this reveals much about Burma, the lack of modern healthcare, and their corrupt military. The stories are interesting and well told. I was able to read the entire book in just a few hours, as I found it enjoyable and did not want to put it down. Jan-Philipp Sendker comes off as someone who is quite knowledgeable about Burma and loves the country.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C'est Moi on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"But it was the only one she had."

I thought this book was going to be mostly a ghost story but it was so much more than that. The very beginning had me thinking I wouldn't care for it but I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm in love with this book. Jan-Philipp Sendker has an amazing gift for storytelling. The bond between Julia and U Ba is very touching. I wish I had a long lost brother like that!

I've never read "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" but this book works as a stand-alone as well. Now I really want to read the first book in order to both enrich my understanding of this story and to sample more of Sendker's beautifully poetic writing.

The ending leaves room for another sequel, and if so I can't wait.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SanjeevP TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Julia, a lawyer with a semi-drifting life in New York city, and semi-estrangement from her mother and brother who live in San Francisco, starts hearing voices in her head and a Buddhist monk tells her it is a second soul that has entered her and she needs to liberate it. Then Julia goes to Burma, where her father came from and where her half brother U Ba introduces her to the troubled life of Nu Nu.

You get the drift...

The book has good, but not vivid, description of life in Burma, sounds like the author knows it well. It is a sequel to the author's previous book, which I have not read. But I had no trouble following the book even without reading the precursor. This book is not a page turner and yet the book is not bad enough that you cannot finish it. If you can read about voices in the head, souls, reincarnation and stuff like that, you may like it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia G. Rourke on January 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did not enjoy this as much as The Aat of Hearing Heartbeats. The story is good but not as carefully woven as the first book. The second half of the book is more egaging. It is however and decent read and I am happy I invested time in getting to know a little more of the heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lachula on January 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful story once again and a continuation, given to us by the author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.
This story begins 10 years after the first Novel takes place, and it is about Julia Win's return to Burma, her fathers birth land, both to see her half brother, U Ba and to find herself once again but also to solve something that has been plaguing her.
The story is told in part about a woman named Nu Nu, her life and family and that of Julia and her brother. Beautifully woven together with the same magical feel of Heartbeats.
The story also takes one through the turbulent years of corrupt military actions, the actions of having lost people, and ones family and the action of forgiving or being forgiven and of finding love.
I hope there is a continuation to this story and of Julia, Thar Thar and U Ba, as I love this authors interesting stories and characters.
Here is a link to a short video of the author talking about his book
[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neal C. Reynolds VINE VOICE on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is warmly written and sure to please. I did get a bit lost in the mysticism, but this of course has its audience. It's very much a woman's book although I as a guy found a lot of strong points in it. If the mysticism doesn't throw you, this is a good book.
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