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Home Reviews Book Reviews Maeve Binchy's 'Heart and Soul' - gentle fiction delights on all accounts

Maeve Binchy's 'Heart and Soul' - gentle fiction delights on all accounts

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When Irish author Maeve Binchy releases a new book, readers of gentle fiction rejoice.

I’ve been a devoted Binchy reader since finding “Light a Penny Candle” in 1982. She tells stories about real people dealing with true-to-life issues. I would like to meet every single one of the characters Binchy has created through the years.

“Heart and Soul,” Binchy’s latest novel, centers on the caregivers and some of the patients at St. Brigid Hospital’s underfunded, understaffed heart clinic.

Charged with getting the clinic up and going is Dr. Clara Casey, whose husband has left her for a much younger woman and whose two daughters, Adi and Linda, cause more than their share of conflict at home.

Declan Carroll, a brand new doctor, is assigned to assist Clara at the clinic. Unsure of himself in both his professional and personal life, Declan sets about to make a place for himself.

Respected clergyman Father Brian Flynn has his life turned upside down when a beautiful — but troubled —  young woman sets her sights on him.

Fiona, one of the clinic’s nurses, has trouble of her own. The past haunts her, and until she can make peace with what happened long ago, she cannot move forward.

For Polish native Ania, meeting Clara was the answer to a prayer.Ania fled to Dublin after a bad breakup. Having a lot of jobs  lets Ania support her mother back in her hometown, while also easing her recovery from love gone bad.

Binchy is the master of weaving plotlines together to make a beautiful tapestry. Time spent in Binchy’s world is never time wasted.



Heart and Soul - By Maeve Binchy
Knopf. 432 pp. $26.95. February 17, 2009.
Five out of five stars



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