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Heart and Soul

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  15,924 ratings  ·  1,623 reviews
Clara Casey has more than enough on her plate. Her daughters Adi and Linda were no problem during the usually turbulent teens. Now Adi is always fighting for or against something: the environment or the whale or battery farming; while Linda lurches from one unsatisfactory relationship to the next. As if this wasn't enough, Clara, a senior cardiac specialist, has a new job ...more
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published February 17th 2009 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published 2008)
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Bobbie Can I ask you what the book is that tells Fiona's tale? I'm new to Maeve Binchy books and would greatly appreciate your help! :) Thank you!…moreCan I ask you what the book is that tells Fiona's tale? I'm new to Maeve Binchy books and would greatly appreciate your help! :) Thank you!(less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,924 ratings  ·  1,623 reviews


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Jason Koivu
Aug 28, 2012 rated it liked it
*Currently reading* status update -

Yeah, I'm reading a Maeve Binchy novel, what of it?! Seriously, why do I have this guilty/embarrassed feeling like the time when my mom caught me looking at the lingerie section in the Sears catalogue?

*Read* review -

After hearing an author's name mentioned on the radio and seeing it pop up at shops and the library, there comes a point when I bow down to the coincidences of the world that are "telling me something" and finally read something by that author. Coup
...more
Angela
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Wonderful! Wonderful! Reading this was like falling into a warm and cozy bath with great chocolate to eat. Some characters from previous books make appearances and even have greater parts in this novel. I am so glad I ordered it early from Amazon U.K. This novel centers around a heart clinic and the people who work there and the patients who go there as well for treatment. The usual blend of small mysteries and entertwined lives as only Maeve Binchy could do.This was definitely worth the wait!On ...more
Obsidian
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually raised this up a star on my re-read. This was actually a nice book to settle in with this weekend. I wasn't in the mood for a read that was going to give me a headache. I do miss Maeve Binchy's books especially when she would continue on with some characters. I still say the amount of jobs that the character Ania was working was beyond ridiculous and were not possible. The flow still didn't work for me either but this time I knew what was coming, so it didn't bother me.

Previous revie
...more
Lisa
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book -I couldn't wait to to listen to it and I was so sorry when it was finished.
Binchy tends to write her books as a kind of series of short stories that all link together.
It's a compelling family drama with tears,tantrums and happy endings.
Pure comfort reading. I love that all her books link together with overlapping characters and so many topics are covered - these are everyday people and she makes you love them - even the awful people!
On the negative side (which I can i
...more
Lanette
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Ugh... this was a SLLLLOOWWWWW read. It's not my favorite Binchy book by any stretch of the imagination. I know some of the characters have been recycled from other books, but I can't remember which books, so that's a little frustrating. I wish there was a cheat sheet somewhere to jog my memory about who they are. ...more
paulinereidbookreviewer
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Review, Heart And Soul By Maeve Binchy.
.
Whoever has read Maeve Binchy books will know that alot of her books centre around an eating place, called, Quentins. This book is no different. I'm only going to touch very briefly on characters within this book, due to Maeve Binchys style, she has alot of characters in her books, so much so, that it's amazing how she managed to keep a track on which characters were doing what, she must have had a good memory, that, or, very well organised in her wri
...more
Debbie Zapata
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dar
This book is both dangerous and comforting.

Dangerous because you simply cannot put it down once you start and you may stay up long past your bed time like I did.

Comforting because it is like reading a letter from home.

The characters were familiar to me from recent readings of other Binchy titles, and once I worked out a mental timeline (what happens here takes place after both Evening Class and Whitethorn Wood) I was quite happy catching up with many of my old friends from those two books.

Thi
...more
Denise Smith
Apr 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love Maeve Binchy and this is another charming character driven story. I love the way she brings back characters from previous novels for cameo appearances, like an old friend stopping by to say hello. If you're looking for a gentle and enjoyable read this is a great choice. ...more
Rosalee 'Leah' Thrum
So many times I was tempted to stop reading this book. Usually I give a book 100 pages, I finished it, but even at page 308, I truely contemplated giving it the unfinished flick. The only reason I finished it, in the end, was I had nothing else I wanted to start reading, before our book club met again this week. I am glad that this wasn't my choice to read.
I found Heart and Soul was like reading a soapie. The most climatic event was a girl going home to her mother. Nothing really happens, and i
...more
Una Tiers
Oct 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This book had a strong start, but disappointed after the first 100 pages. The huge amount of characters and the stereotype of the Polish immigrant became tiresome. I've enjoyed several other books by this author, but found it hard to finish. ...more
Shiloh
Nov 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sucked
I have to quit reading these old lady romances! I knew I couldn't read anymore when the guy was staring at the girl's "little ringlet" next to her ear--- she had just gone to the salon?!?? What nurse goes to the salon in the middle of the day and gets an updo? With ringlets?
No more mauve binchy for me.
...more
Sariah
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my all-time favorite authors, Maeve Binchey, does it again with a novel that lets me completely escape into someone else's life for a while. I've been reading Binchey for a long time now, and I love what her novels have evolved to. She used to write the huge, coming-of-age novels. I loved them. And while they always ended well, with closure, I always wonder what happened to these characters I had grown to love so much. I don't have enough curiosity about them to wish for a sequel, rather ...more
Book Concierge
Audio book read by Sile Bermingham.

This is a story of family, friends, patients and staff whose lives intersect at a heart clinic in Dublin. Dr Clara Casey has taken on the job of director of this underfunded but much needed clinic. She agrees to a one-year contract because she has plenty of other issues in her personal life – two adult daughters with whom she has a difficult relationship, and an ex-husband who is trying to worm his way back into her good graces. The staff she assembles is eclec
...more
Angela
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Someone who likes Maeve Binchy, or is looking for an easy read
Recommended to Angela by: Book group
I would not have picked this book to read on my own. It was the book choice for my Ladies' Book Group. I thought the book, about a woman who gets a position heading a heart clinic in Dublin, was much too saccharine. Clara, the main, well mostly main character, since there are myriad characters, comes into the clinic and has everything quickly fall into place for her. She quickly finds great, friendly, efficient (that is, perfect)staff within a couple of days. They all have their own side stories ...more
SherryRose
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Maeve Binchy is a good story teller. She's always down to earth and her people seem real. I like this group of people from the heart clinic. Good stories but a bit draggy in places. It's 3.5 for me. Closer to 3 than 4. ...more
Ruthiella
I think I have grown out of her now, but I still find Maeve Binchy’s books to be comforting. Her stories are fairy tales for adults in that characters face obstacles and learn their lessons and that while getting there might be bittersweet, the ending is always happy. Heart and Soul is about the women and men who establish a heart clinic at a major Dublin hospital and tangentially about their friends, family and patients. I did notice that this book and some of the characters seemed to be connec ...more
Maite
Jan 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really loved my first Maeve Binchy book and still recommend it to a lot of my friends, so understandably, I had high hopes for this book and to my surprise, it seemed to me it was written by a completely different author. At times I caught myself wondering if maybe this wasn't one of those books that have a secret ghost writer imitating the style of the original author, and at times I wondered if it wasn't a problem with the translator, maybe he had taken some liberties and ended up deconstruc ...more
Traci
Pop sugar 2018 challenge: book set in a country that fascinates you (Ireland)

This is my first book by Binchy and it was really enjoyable. It’s a cozy read/listen where you get wrapped up in the character’s lives. I enjoyed how she wove them all together but allowed each character to be set apart. I really enjoyed Anja’s story and her new-found independence. I would definitely read more by Binchy in the future!
Clare O'Beara
Jul 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: europe, irish-fiction
I'm a great fan of Maeve Binchy but this wasn't one of my favourites. She has set her story around a Dublin heart clinic and tried to work in many characters from previous novels such as Scarlet Feather, Evening Class and Quentins; even if they just have walk-on roles, her readers will be interested to see their progress.

I disliked that the main characters are extremely unprofessional in manner. Even if the setting is Dublin, a doctor in charge of a clinic does not grouse and namecall about the
...more
Sandie
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 t
...more
Katie Kenig
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
While this book was a slow starter, it had a nice payoff in the end.

Heart and Soul centers around a Irish clinic that treats patients with heart disease, helping them to learn to live with their condition, rather than dying from it - dietician Lavender holds cooking workshops, trainer Jimmy puts them through their paces in the gym, Dr. Decklan monitoring their health, nurses Fiona and Hillary minding the patients, clerical Anya working her behind off in every way, and administrator Clara oversee
...more
LindyLouMac
Sep 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Each chapter is written as episodes in the lives of the characters and it all seems to link together into a relaxing if not a somewhat predictable read. If you have read previous novels by this author you will also enjoy catching up with characters you met earlier and once again visiting the restaurant Quentins, also a title of one of Maeve Binchy’s earlier novels. It doesn't matter if you are new to this author though as it stands alone easily as well.

It is not a novel that I am gong to rave ab
...more
Sue
Dec 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ireland
Dr. Clara Casey takes on the role of setting up the Heart Care clinic connected with the hospital in Dublin. She doesn't want to, but agrees for one year. She hires a staff and sets up the facility. What happens next is that the staff come together to really care about one another and the patients. The patients begin to see how they can manage their heart health and lead productive lives. In short, it's not as horrible as she thought it would be.
I enjoyed this one. The last couple of Binchy bo
...more
Beverly
Sep 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-cozy
My wifi has been acting up, so this is my third try at this.

A gentle woman's read. Binchy's stories always turn out well, like a fairy tale, which I have a sneaking fondness for.

This one is about the formation and first year of a Heart Clinic, formed to help people who have had heart attacks get follow up care in a non hospital setting. Most of the characters are sympathetic types. Even the bad ones come to sort of a resolution in the end. There's a women who is the head of the clinic; a hospit
...more
Wallace
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, heartwarmers
Binchy does a wonderful job creating a community in Dublin, Ireland, of exactly the kind of people you would want to find there. In her own words, " I wanted to make it cheerful and positive and funny, which is what we all need." She did it smashingly. It was like visiting somewhere and staying long enough to become familiar, but leaving while you still like it enough to be eager to plan your return. I hear people describe Binchy's novels like a warm bath, or a comfortable chair with cozy blanke ...more
LibraryCin
This novel centers around a newly built heart clinic. Like with all Binchy's novels, there is a big cast of characters, and we get a glimpse into a lot of different characters' lives. Clara, separated from her husband and with two grown daughters who still live at home and have issues of their own, runs the clinic. Declan is a young doctor who lives with his parents who never had a lot of money and think the world of their son. Aina, a Polish immigrant to Ireland, has a past she is ashamed of an ...more
Jay
Oct 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I liked the stories in this one more than most of Binchy's other books that I've read, but the large cast of characters revolving around an Irish heart clinic are pretty similar to the other books she's written, and I'm afraid I will quickly forget them - there's more than average niceness here. Part of the good feelings of this book are the kids described as sounding like robots. I listened on audio, and that was the right little comic touch for the story. I usually listen to Binchy's books on ...more
Anne
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lovely book, I greatly enjoyed reading about the family relationships, the way that the Polish and Irish communities have so many commonalities.

So many unpromising relationships that worked so well, Declan and Fiona, for example. Dysfunctional families that proved to be anything but with Clare´s Daughters who proved to be well rounded individuals.7

The work offered to Ania from Poland that proved to be the making of her, and her past difficulties that made her a stronger person ultimately.

I lo
...more
Colleen
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Maeve Binchy is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. All of her novels genuinely have "heart and soul." I am in love with her humor, the Irish dialogue, and the characters you grow to love despite or because of their eccentricities. I am so grateful that she makes the stories about normal people undergoing everyday tragedies and the tales are so uplifting, primarily because of the wonderful relationships between the characters. I also appreciate how she brings central characters from one ...more
Julie
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am going to be spending quite a bit of time this year in rereading some old favourites and this is one of them.
Heart and Soul deals with a wonderful cast of characters that are connected to a new heart clinic in Dublin. As always with Maeve Binchy, it is a journey of self discovery that we are presented with and I just don't have enough superlatives to say how heart warming the writing is.
It's not just bring, goody-goody characters either - there is some real substance and variety to them.
I am
...more
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Play Book Tag: Heart and Soul / Maeve Binchy - 3*** 1 9 Oct 29, 2017 09:01AM  

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Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. Her parents were very positive and provided her with a happy childhood. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents' attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved travelin
...more

Articles featuring this book

The Irish love telling stories, and we are suspicious of people who don't have long, complicated conversations. There used to be a rule in...
14 likes · 16 comments
“...And he said nothing. Just put his arms around her more closely as the whole heart clinic and their friends and relations danced to the music of "Hey Jude".” 4 likes
“I don’t think we should spend any time wandering around that remote possibility. It’s nice of you to wish me well, but actually I find it unbearably patronizing.” 1 likes
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