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A Well-Tempered Heart
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A Well-Tempered Heart

(The Art of Hearing Heartbeats #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  8,764 ratings  ·  801 reviews
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 h
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Other Press (first published 2012)
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Popular Answered Questions
Blanche Nichols Yes. It is somewhat disturbing, but a really tender story.

Yes. It is somewhat disturbing, but a really tender story.

Lisa It's worth reading The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (book 1) first. The main stories are somewhat independent of each other but it sets the foundation an…moreIt's worth reading The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (book 1) first. The main stories are somewhat independent of each other but it sets the foundation and tone for book 2. I'd definitely purchase a book 3 if there was one.(less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,764 ratings  ·  801 reviews

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Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 Bookt
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Kevin McAllister
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 t ...more
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cultural
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 cho
Katz Nancy from NJ
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 som ...more
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 paral
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Astonishing. The perfect sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. Simply glorious writing.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 (view spoiler), the story more than makes up for it by being almost magical.

Buddyread with Kim!
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.
Soe Myat
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 a
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
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 dr
RoseMary Achey
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
This is the sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, and it was just as beautifully crafted.
Terri Phillips
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Barbara M
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: burma
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 ...more
Michelle Hamstra
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
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 confe ...more
Charlotte Guzman
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 her
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a sequal to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats which I loved. I was really looking forward to reading this, but at the beginning where Julia began hearing voices and then was told she was possibly inhabitated by two souls, I wondered if it was for me. I am so glad I stuck with this beautiful book about love forgiveness, priorities and listening to one's heart. The ending makes me think there might be a third in the series. I hope so!
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really really liked it and I really really had goosebumps reading the end even while burrowed under two quilts!
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! A sequel that did not disappoint!
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book and decided to read it because the first one, “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” was definitely one of my favorite books of all time. As expected, this one was not a disappointment either, in fact it was just as breathtaking and gripping.

Even though I do not believe in troubled spirits, reincarnation, good and bad karma in the sense mentioned in the book, nor in most of the spirituality described beautifully throughout the novel, none of it was annoying to me nor was it silly. C
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ho ...more
Melissa Lucrezia
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ll be honest...I struggled a bit with this book. I loved The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and was so eager to read the sequel. For me, there was more of a connection to the first book than this one. At times I found my focus wandering and even read two other books in the span of finishing this book. While I love the overall deep meaning and themes the author conveys, I felt at times that I wanted more. I wanted to leave this book like I left Heartbeats...thinking about it for days and wondering w ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The thing is, this is a beautiful book. Objectivly it's a really good one.

But for me, I just felt uneasy reading it a lot of the time. As with the first one, the part with Julia wasn't really needed, and in the end that part of the mystery just disapeared. I was expecting some sort of resolution to it all, instead of it just fading away.

The story of Nu Nu and Thar Thar was beautiful, if very tragic. It could have standed great on it's own.

In the end, there were to many strings and not enough of
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (3 books)
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
  • Das Gedächtnis des Herzens (Die Burma-Serie #3)

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