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The sequel to the international best-selling novel The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father’s native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads; her boyfriend recently left her, she has suffered a miscarriage, and she is, despite her wealth, unhappy with her professional life. Julia is lost and exhausted.
One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a stranger’s voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation. In the following days, her crisis only deepens. Not only does the female voice refuse to disappear, but it starts to ask questions Julia has been trying to avoid. Why do you live alone? To whom do you feel close? What do you want in life?
Interwoven with Julia’s story is that of a Burmese woman named Nu Nu who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers. This spirited sequel, like The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, explores the most inspiring and passionate terrain: the human heart.

400 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Jan-Philipp Sendker

14 books888 followers
Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, and, longing to travel the world, became the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a nonfiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is his first novel, and since then, he has written 3 further novels, including a sequel to "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats", "A Well-Tempered Heart". In 2013, he received The indies Choice Honor Award in the category Adult Fiction for "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. He lives in Potsdam with his family and is currently working on the third installment in his China-trilogy.

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5 stars
4,178 (38%)
4 stars
4,438 (41%)
3 stars
1,786 (16%)
2 stars
291 (2%)
1 star
67 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 925 reviews
Profile Image for Jana.
768 reviews87 followers
July 1, 2013
I must admit I was a little apprehensive at the beginning of this. A follow up of a loved novel creates high expectations! But just this morning, on my second session of reading, I became hooked. I may have physically been floating in a swimming pool in a mini heat wave in Seattle, but today I feel like I visited Burma and my old friends from The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. And the best part of all involved a completely new set of characters and events.

Meeting the author was a highlight of Booktopia Bellingham last month. He knows Burma firsthand from many visits and these books are a lot about place. But most importantly they are about people: family, love, forgiveness.

Not a spoiler, but an interesting part of the book is a certain food. Google images of the 'betel nut' while you wait to read this. I had never heard of this apparently common, but very unusual food.
Profile Image for Becky.
48 reviews6 followers
January 31, 2014
A worthy sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. Explores love in all its forms - child/parent, parent/child, self, romantic and friend. Through a tale that mixes Western and Eastern cultures, Sendker asks the reader to examine questions that are at the very heart of living a meaningful, full life. Sit back, relax and enjoy this deceptively simple story that will get you thinking and leave you changed.
Profile Image for Petra.
1,102 reviews22 followers
December 17, 2018
A wonderful sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.
I enjoyed the mysticism and spiritual aspects of Life that are added to the everyday lives of the Burmese characters. There's a definite difference in the Eastern and Western ways of seeing Life. The Eastern ways are more serene in their daily ways.
This story of Love in its many variations is a wonderful look at learning to accept life & its circumstances; learning to understand, accept and forgive; and finding one's true path.
Profile Image for Nina.
703 reviews128 followers
July 11, 2022
Some authors have the ability to transfer you to another space or time, and Sendker is one of them. I loved the writing, the questions it stirred up inside. What is most important in life? Do we listen to ourselves and what we truly want? Every now and then it’s empowering to read about different ways of thinking about life and it’s meaning. Our westernized society where everything has to happen yesterday, might not be the same as being happy or content.
Profile Image for Lisa.
348 reviews
April 25, 2014
Didn't love this. Seemed a bit forced, expected, and syrupy sometimes. Not sure why it's even connected with Heartbeats, there was no reason to have the characters carry over, they didn't have anything to do in this book. This is another perfect example of trying to follow-up an amazing first novel that probably took a decade to write, with a novel that was put out in just a year or two. It showed. It never felt substantial or like there was a real point to the story.
Profile Image for Kevin McAllister.
548 reviews26 followers
February 9, 2014
I was really blown away by Jan-Philipp Sender's first novel entitled The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats and consequently, began the sequel with high expectations. Unfortunately, as often happens when you expect too much, you're in for a letdown. The Well Tempered Heart did shine inn many aspects. It turned into a surprisingly poignant love story and, like the the first novel, it wonderfully depicted the main characters search for inner peace. Where I felt it didn't measure up to the first novel was the way in which Julie went to Burma in the first place. This time it was not the disappearance of her Burmese born father. No, instead this time she was hearing voices in her head. Now, obviously Sender needed to get Julie back to Burma to continue the story, but I just felt that having the character hear voices in her head was too cliché. Surely, the author could have come up with something more clever than that old trick.
Profile Image for John.
145 reviews4 followers
May 28, 2014
Oh Jan-Philipp. Your writing is exquisite, beautiful, and inspiring. This sequel to Art of Hearing Heartbeats is so very different than its predecessor, yet just as moving. If love and kindness are the virtues you hold in highest regard, than these two books belong in your heart.
Profile Image for Ренета Кирова.
970 reviews19 followers
February 25, 2020
"Гласовете на сърцето" на Ян-Филип Зендкер е втората част на "Да чауш ритъма на сърцето". И тази книга много ми хареса. Приказна история за загуба и любов. История за пречистващата сила на любовта, написана като песен или поне така я усетих. Унасяше ме, потъвах в нея... Действието се развива в Бирма (днес Мианмар), където хората са извън времето. Живеят скромно и не се затрупват с вещи. Не познават нашия забързан живот, свикнали са на спокойствие и съзерцание. Но наред с това царува и суеверието, което понякога проваля живота им. Това е друга култура и душевност, трудно разбираема за нас. Не мога да преразкажа сюжета, книгата се чете със сърцето и предизвиква различни усещания и чувства. Това е книга, която докосва сърцето и душата. Препоръчвам и двете книги!
Profile Image for Donna.
3,834 reviews2 followers
June 29, 2015
This landed on my reading pile, solely because it had a decent GR rating. As I started this book a woman was hearing voices and then there was talk about reincarnation. This had me a little worried. I thought this was going to be hokey. I was wrong. This was a beautifully written book. The author kept it all reigned in and that held the hokey feelings at bay.

This is a book about love and life and purpose. While we can't always control the things that come our way, we do have control over our choices and our feelings. We can always choose family, and love, and forgiveness. This book reminded me of that.

Profile Image for Mai Laakso.
1,104 reviews55 followers
March 11, 2017
Saksalaisen Jan Philipp Sendkerin esikoisteos Sydämenlyönneissä ikuisuus ponnahti maailmanmaineeseen ja siitä tuli todella suosittu kirja sen romanttisen rakkaustarinansa vuoksi rakastavaisista, jotka erotettiin toisistaan. Sydämen ääntä ei voi unohtaa on itsenäinen jatko-osa ensimmäiselle kirjalle. Päähenkilö on sama, Julia Win, joka ensimmäisessä kirjassa etsi isäänsä Burmasta, mutta löysikin isän sijasta veljen. Tässä kirjassa Julia matkusti Yhdysvalloista veljensä luokse eksoottiseen Burmaan, sillä hän oli stressaantunut ja kaipasi kipeästi selvennystä ikävään kokemukseensa.
Sendker on kirjoittanut jälleen tarinan, joka koskettaa lukijoita. Kuten esikoisteos, jatkokirja on myös rakkaustarina. Rakkaustarina vie lukijan trooppisen kuumaan Burmaan. Tarinoissa on paljon samaa, mutta myös uutta. Julia on tullut elämänsä risteyskohtaan ja muutokset odottavat elämässä. Onko hän tarpeeksi rohkea tarttuakseen trooppiseen unelmaan, vai palaako hän takaisin Yhdysvaltoihin. Uskon, että Julian tarina ei jää näihin kahteen kirjaan, vaan se jatkuu, toivottavasti yhtä kauniina tarinana kuin nämä kaksi ovat.
January 23, 2015
This title is a worthy sequel to the book, the Art of Hearing Heartbeats. After 10 years a young woman returns to see her half brother in Byrma. Plagued with voices in her head asking evocative questions Julie Win wonders if a trip to Burma won't help her. Taking a leave of absence from her well paying job as a lawyer, Julie travels to Burma and is reunited with her brother U Ba. What ensues is a love story if a mother, a love story of a young man taken away and placed in a military unit and some peace for Julie.

This was a good book and one which I am glad I read. The only problem is that the last line was a bit confusing to me but set up a good storyline for a third book. If not for this I would have given this book 5,stars.
226 reviews6 followers
May 6, 2014
If you enjoyed Hearing Heartbeats then you will like the book. It is very similar. . Julia Win, U Ba and a story of hardship in Burma.

While I liked the book, I didn't give it 4 stars because there wasn't anything new in it. It is Julia's story again. . just 10 years later. . . and Julia isn't very interesting. The book is best when Julia is listening to the story of someone else. Once you focus on her the story is cliche. . . and not very good cliche.

Another reason for 3 stars is the author dropped a few elements without a clear conclusion. .. maybe this is to set up a 3rd book?

Profile Image for Suzanne.
891 reviews99 followers
November 11, 2016
The sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, this novel takes place ten years later, when Julia Win travels back to Burma for personal healing, and to solve a mystery that followed her back to the United States all those years ago. Like her father, Julia discovers an other-worldly gift: she hears the voice of a woman in anguish.

I liked this novel even more than the first. The unfolding of the spirit-woman's story is heartbreaking. And yet, as Julia discovers more about this woman's past, a parallel tale of love and survival becomes the catalyst for her own healing. This is a beautiful, well-written novel.
620 reviews25 followers
February 1, 2014
This is a sequel to The art of hearing heartbeats. In the first book Julia goes to Burma in search of her father and ten years later in the second book Julia goes to Burma to find herself. It is a book about love, loss, forgiveness and what the heart needs to survive. Reading the book feels like meditation to me. You enter another world where the people come alive. While doing mundane chores, you think about their world, their lives, their choices and look forward to re-entering that world when those chores have been completed.The best of what a story has to offer a reader.
Profile Image for B.
311 reviews
March 11, 2014
Astonishing. The perfect sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. Simply glorious writing.
Profile Image for Priss.
403 reviews3 followers
June 7, 2018
5/5. Such a wonderful story, I hadn't expected it to be so good again. Even though I found the premise to be a little... unbelievable at first , the story more than makes up for it by being almost magical.

Buddyread with Kim!
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,450 reviews9 followers
September 12, 2019
I loved the first of these books, but this one feels like something is missing. I like the writing, so maybe it is Cassandra Campbell's voice causing my boredom. Or the translation? One sentence began "Nu Nu knew...." LOL
Sort of inexcusable in a translation IMO.
Profile Image for Soe Myat.
38 reviews10 followers
July 18, 2020
Disappointed .... as a native Burmese

I am a native Burmese and I’m sorry to say this book has disappointed me. I admire the research the author has done, and also his writing. While a lot of situations narrated in this story might be true, it was disturbing and troubling to question the author’s research on the proper practices of a Burmese Buddhist monks. A typical real Burmese Buddhist monk does not touch women. So at first I was surprised to learn about the encounter of Julia with the monk at the meditation center in New York. I’m willing to overlook the fact that Julia and her best friend smuggled wine into Buddhist meditation center in New York. I might not and many other practitioners might not bring alcohol, but I can let that go as a character development.

A lot of things just don’t seem to add up. What happened with Julia’s own internal wounds from her breakup? Did Nu Nu get closure after Julia sleeping with her son? (My initial reaction was “ew!!” ) Not only Thar Thar was Nu Nu’s son (the voice inside Julias head, he was said to be a monk running a monastery! SERIOUSLY?!

It was apparent that the author wanted to produce another sequel , which I am not sure I will read.
Profile Image for RoseMary Achey.
1,326 reviews
February 8, 2014
A sequel to the much loved Art of Hearing Heartbeats this book explored one of the basic tenets of human life- love. Author Sendker has an uncanny knack of breaking down complex topics into their most basic forms. What results is a simple story that is at the same time very rich.
Profile Image for Natasa.
1,163 reviews
July 4, 2019
This follow-up sequel to “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” is a good read, and I thoroughly enjoyed since I fell in love with the first book. It did not captivate me as much as the first although it is well written.
Profile Image for Debbie.
515 reviews69 followers
August 22, 2021
What a beautiful book. It is the follow up to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, which was gorgeous, as well. This author has such a way with words, and seems to possess so much knowledge of the human heart and spirit. I love learning about the stories of peoples’ lives. We simply cannot understand another person without coming to know the sum of his or her experiences. But we can practice kindness and gratitude daily.
Profile Image for Terri Phillips.
61 reviews
September 18, 2017
This is the follow up to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats which I absolutely loved. The expectation was high but it couldn't match those giddy heights. The first 20% I was just waiting for the inevitable to happen and I didn't connect with the story as much as I had with the first book. That said, it was an enjoyable, easy read.
Profile Image for Barbara M.
1,032 reviews23 followers
April 22, 2018
I am so sad that I have reached the end of this book. There is more to the story and I want to hear it all! I was concerned about picking up a sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats because I loved it so much. I read it in May of 2015 and was also concerned that maybe too much time had passed between that novel and this but I rediscovered what I loved about that story pretty quickly.

The book starts with Julia in this novel as it did in Heartbeats. She's a successful lawyer living in a New York highrise. She starts to have some strange thing happening, hearing the voice of a frightened woman. She is afraid she's losing her mind and she seeks help in all the usual places but its very unsatisfying. Her friend Amy is her best help.

The story really takes off when Julia realizes that she needs to go back to Burma. She wants to see her brother and try to track down who this woman is and find the story she won't reveal. As with Heartbeats, Julia introduces us to the story of Burma through the stories she hears. U Ba thinks he knows who the woman talking to Julia is and finds someone to tell that story. From that story, we hear another and they are both wonderful, sad, beautiful, violent, kind and sweet. I loved it and I hated having it end.
Profile Image for Mallory.
781 reviews
June 15, 2018
Way more intense than the last book; still good, just the material was heavier. Julia has let 10 years elapse, refusing to return to Burma, though she knows she left a piece of her heart there. However, an unexplained voice in her head prompts a trip back as she tries to reconcile the past with the present and in turn, gets tangled up in another family's story. It was honestly very difficult to get through much of Thar Thar's experiences as a young boy and then a child soldier. I was reminded how many places in the world suffer conflicts that are often unknown and unreported, yet involve innocent lives like his. These books were both very eye-opening as well in regards to meaningfulness in life (what is important, what can be let go of) and the importance of listening to another's story.

Favorite quotes: "It is our own flaws that we are least ready to forgive in others."

"Something had happened to me without my noticing. Is it true that we can count the moments in which something really happens in our lives? Do we notice it right away, or only in hindsight?"

"Sometimes we must search afar to find what's close at hand. Sometimes we have to try one thing in order to discover that we want something else." - U Ba
Profile Image for Mona.
176 reviews1 follower
April 18, 2014
I reserved this book at the library believing I wouldn't much care for it nor want to add it to my growing collection of books on Burma. I was about to give up on it and the irritating "voice" when it finally started to hit home on page 59 at the Buddhist retreat center. I began loving the story as it moved to Kalaw and Hsipaw, places I've visited, when the town details (inside U Ba's home and tea houses) felt realistic. The description of child soldiers and how they were treated/used was tough to read, but I'm trusting that the author's research about that part of Burma's history is accurate. Oh my, what horridly vivid details. The voice was key to the story, but I'm wishing there had been a different avenue to reach the end. That said, I loved the book and hope there's another one that follows-perhaps without any aspect of a fairy tale. Two quotes from the book that I wrote down to savor: "The art of being where you are" and " The love of a dead person counts. No one can take that away from us."
December 18, 2021
According to her we are each our own greatest mystery, and our life’s work is to solve ourselves. None of us ever succeeds, she says, but it is our duty to follow the trail. Regardless of how long it is or where it might lead.

How thin is the wall between us and madness? No one knows what it is made of. No one knows how much pressure it can withstand. Until it gives. We all live on the edge. It’s just one step. A small one. Some of us sense it; others do not.

Grass does not grow more quickly for pulling on it.

Defy ephemerality. Wander not always ahead of yourself in thought, but neither dawdle in the past. It is the art of arrival. Of being in one, only one place at one time. ... the art of being where you are.

Hers was the soul of a child who knew too much. Of life. Of death. Of warm hands, and how quickly they can grow cold.
Profile Image for Michelle Hamstra.
108 reviews7 followers
February 24, 2017
Sendker's sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats fell short in comparison to the original novel. The story felt choppy and at times I wasn't sure who the main character was. There was also a lot of odd foreshadowing and imagery I never saw going anywhere. I thought this book hada great deal of potential to explore some serious character growth and satisfy the reader's curiosity about Julia's life, but instead it left me in a similar place as the last book.... without as much continuity. I confess, I'll likely read the next book in this series but this book felt more like a spin-off than a sequel.
Profile Image for Charlotte Guzman.
425 reviews29 followers
June 7, 2017
I have read the first book in this series, "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" and loved it. This one is just as beautiful as the first book in its storytelling but the ending left me hanging and I wanted more. There is supposed to be a third book in this series, but I haven't heard about when it will come out.
My favorite parts of this book was the beautiful relationship between Julia and her brother U Ba from Burma.
This book is so magical and love the story inserted into Julia's journey to find herself. That inserted story creates my wanting a follow up to this book.
Loved the book and look forward to the follow up.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 925 reviews

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