Author: Jan-Philipp Sendker
Published by: Other Press
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Rating: 4 stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Do you ever read a story that makes you believe in the power of love? I'm not talking about love at first sight, or tortuous and tormented love, but the love that transcends time and requires sacrifice. The love that doesn't breed doubt, but instead builds a person up.
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats makes me long for a love like that. The story of Tin Win and Mi Mi is powerful and heartbreaking. These two characters have a strength and tranquility that can only arise from sacrifice. Throughout the novel the author reveals who each of these characters truly are through bits and pieces of their past. Their devotion and complete trust in one another is miraculous, even when separated and alone they still believed in their love.
Tin Win and Mi Mi's story is told to Julia by a local Burmese villager as she searches for answers about her father. I enjoyed this exchanged between past and present as Julia discovers who her father was and his devastating past. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is a work of literary art. The writing was gorgeous in a way that is soft and gentle and almost cradles your mind as you read it. It slowly evokes emotions and unravels your prejudices as you become part of this tale.
If you are looking for a beautiful tale with elegant writing, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is the novel for you.