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THE ART OF STORYTELLING
on July 14, 2009
It's difficult to say anything negative about Maeve Binchy books. How can one fault books that are as warm and comfortable as a big fluffy blanket? True, there are some that are definitely better than others, some characters you care about more than others, but when all is said and done you always come away from reading a Binchy book appreciating the humor, compassion and Irish spirit that permeates each page.
In HEART AND SOUL, Binchy utilizes an underfunded heart clinic as the focal point for the intersecting lives of her characters. Although the publishers review would have you believe that this is the story of Dr. Clara Casey whose job it is to set up the clinic, the truth of the matter is that hers is just the tasty crust of this pie. The intersecting stories of the clinic staff and the patients they care for are the sweet and satisfying filling and together they present a tasty treat for your reading palate.
Die hard fans will recognize several characters from previous tomes like Night of Wind and Stars, Evening Class, Scarlett Feather and Quentins. While some make fleeting appearances, others like nurse Fiona Ryan (who was one of the co-stars in Night of Wind and Stars) have their stories come full circle with an outcome tied up in a big red bow. Most interesting among the newcomers are the Polish immigrant, Anya, and the story of her ill fated affair with the man who "used and abused" her. Others like Carl and his overbearing mother Rosemary, Declan the young doctor, and Hillary the physical therapist are ordinary people whose ordinary lives and problems are ones we can all relate to.
Binchy is the queen of multiple story lines and HEART AND SOUL takes the reader on a voyeuristic trip into the lives of its characters that is both enchanted and enchanting. The trip is sure to please and you don't even have to pack a bag.