Thursday, December 11, 2008

Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy

The setting for all of Maeve Binchy’s books is Ireland and perhaps that is part of why I like her novels so much, having recently visited the Emerald Isle. Heart and Soul is about ordinary people dealing with ordinary problems.

Clara Casey is a hardworking single mom who is having difficulty understanding her grown up daughters. One is always fighting for or against something, the other is stumbling about with no direction in her life. Clara, a senior cardiologist, has just started a new job setting up an experimental clinic for heart patients. The hospital administrator doesn’t see the value of such a clinic and disagrees with Clara over just about everything, including the staff she hires.

As if all of this isn’t enough she becomes involved with the lives of her staff: There’s Dr. Declan who’s only there for 6 months; Father Brian Flynn, whose life is turned upside down when his reputation is threatened; cheerful nurse Fiona, who can’t leave her troubled past behind; and Ania, an immigrant from Poland, who is hoping to mend a broken heart with a fresh start in a new country.

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