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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, #1)
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2015 Finished Reads Discussions > February BOTM- The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

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message 1: by Katherine, Monthly Group Reads (new)

Katherine | 464 comments Mod
Read and discuss The Art of Hearing Heartbeats here!!! So many of our members have said good things about this book, so it'll be exciting to read this!!

A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.


message 2: by Donna (new) - added it

Donna Just downloaded the audio of this from my library's Overdrive. Looking forward to starting it today.


Elizabeth☮ This is such a great love story. It is nice to come to the story with little background so you can watch the characters connect without all the built up expectation. I am eager to see how the group likes it.


Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition I am starting this book on Feb. 7th - that is when I get to pick a new book to listen to, using my Audible subscription.


Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition I have 2 books to finish, so I will be starting this on Valentine's Day.


message 6: by Katherine, Monthly Group Reads (new)

Katherine | 464 comments Mod
I just started this last night, and am enjoying it. Though I will say, the characters are a little complex. But we'll see how it goes!!


Cathy (travlnbard) | 41 comments Okay, I gotta ask. I am about 1/3 of the way through the book and I am looking for the love story. So far it is a story about another story with other stories thrown in. I would call it a drama and a slow moving one at that. Where are the lovers? I hope this isn't like the movie Sleepless in Seattle where we don't see the people in love together until the end.

So far, disappointing.


message 8: by Katherine, Monthly Group Reads (new)

Katherine | 464 comments Mod
The love story between the MC's father and the mysterious woman doesn't appear until about halfway through the novel, unfortunately. It proceeds pretty quickly (so if that isn't your thing, you probably won't like it).


Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition I just started reading this and already I am getting pulled into the story by the beautiful, descriptive writing.....


Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition I am about 1/4 into this - the book is well written and the plot is interesting, however, the characters are not grabbing me yet.


message 11: by Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition (last edited Feb 27, 2015 10:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition OK, I am about 75% into this book and was getting frustrated about why things were not moving along (view spoiler) So, I came to the conclusion that this is a beautifully written book, but has to be read as a sad, romantic fairy tale, rather than a contemporary drama. I think that is where the disappointment comes in for some readers.
I was immediately drawn in by the surrealistic prose, but since the plot started out realistically, with the very independent daughter, Julia, going to Burma to check out the facts, I expected more "meat" to the story than what we were given at the beginning.
(view spoiler)
Julia used to love when her father told her sad, romantic stories with a tragic ending when she was a little girl. Her favorite story, about the alligators and the Prince & Princess, could have been a metaphor for his former life, with MiMi. (view spoiler)
So, in effect, he really was telling his daughter about his previous life when she was a little girl.

As in fairytales, some things happen that are not fully explained, or even plausible. Such as, he lived in a small remote village - his mother abandoned him, but apparently, she was never heard from again??
(view spoiler)
Why was his previous life such a big secret to his American family?
I guess he wanted to keep Mi Mi a treasured secret, known only to himself and sharing her story with his wife and children would make her seem less precious.
Also, he may have wanted to keep secret the fact that his wife was not the love of his life. (as if she couldn't figure that out!)
Hopefully, when I finish the book, I will get the hidden meaning behind everything...


Cathy (travlnbard) | 41 comments Terry wrote: "OK, I am about 75% into this book and was getting frustrated about why things were not moving along "

I agree completely Terry! I gave up about 2/3 of the way into the book. I think the book would have been much better if it didn't take place as a story being told. I expect the characters in the book to do more than listen to a story. That is my job.


message 13: by Katherine, Monthly Group Reads (new)

Katherine | 464 comments Mod
I am in complete agreement with you two. While I thought the prose was quite beautiful, I couldn't help but thinking that there was no way that a real, regular life person would talk like that. Long monologues with no time to catch a breath. I would also classify this as a more surrealist story than an actual scenario that would play out in real life.


message 14: by Katherine, Monthly Group Reads (new)

Katherine | 464 comments Mod
I also thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out, in my opinion.


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