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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel | [Jan-Philipp Sendker]

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel

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 listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.
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Publisher's Summary

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 listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995 and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a nonfiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is his first novel. He lives in Berlin with his family.

©2002 Karl Blessing Verlag. Translation 2006 by Kevin Wiliarty (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Absolute magic…Like a spell, it haunts. Like love, it’s going to endure.” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (546 )
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  •  
    Rhonda 06-08-14
    Rhonda 06-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    459
    78
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    "Touching"

    This is a touching and painful story. A gifted writer and fantastic narrator. Among the good in this world there is always evil...life is so difficult until you think of others problems....it makes you grateful.....this book shows this so well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Omtomyheart 06-07-14
    Omtomyheart 06-07-14 Member Since 2014

    A mother, a wife, part-time professional trying to fit it all in...

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    "So poetic..."

    The reason why this book is so good is because the writing is so descriptive and poetic. You can feel what the characters feel, and the imagery that develops in your mind, as you hear the words, places you right there where the characters are. If this is a translated version, i can't imagine how much more wonderful the original version would be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MP 06-01-14
    MP 06-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Intriguing, Charming, & Delightful Story"
    Would you listen to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats again? Why?

    Absolutely. I'm always looking for enthralling stories with positive notes. I like the thrilling plots of mysteries - this provided that without dwelling on the dark side of human nature, rather celebrating the extraordinary within the characters. I wish I could listen to 10 more like it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fl0werch1ld 05-30-14
    fl0werch1ld 05-30-14
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    "Just Beautiful!!"

    So hard to explain this book but as a beautiful love story, so much to learn about ourselves through this wonderful character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    McCaffrey Fan 05-29-14
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    "Dreary, voice of icky dispair. Could not finish it"

    This is a depressing, dragging book. The culture described is not enough to counter the morbid tone and the hurt of a child abandoned by her father or a child disliked by his mother. Icky. Maybe it improves toward the end, but I have given it enough time to catch my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Durban, South Africa 05-06-14
    Pat Durban, South Africa 05-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "avidreader"
    What did you love best about The Art of Hearing Heartbeats?

    The depth of feeling in the writing


    What did you like best about this story?

    the realization that one needs to learn so much more about the unknown


    What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

    a good reader and has captured the feel of the book very naturally


    Any additional comments?

    a great book to listen to

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andre 05-04-14
    andre 05-04-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Hearing heartbeats"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Great story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats?

    When she understands who the the person she is talking to is


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All of the book


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    As I said when it dawns on her after looking at the photos


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MaryAlice Binghamton, NY, United States 01-11-14
    MaryAlice Binghamton, NY, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2008

    I am a chaplain at a local hospital. I belong to a book club. When I'm not at work I play handbells and sew.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Contrived and Predictable"

    This was my book club's choice for our January meeting. I listened to it twice between Thanksgiving and New Year's. As I listened for the first time, it seemed to be filled with unfinished stories: why was Judy brought it at all? How come the brother never makes an appearance? Do 3rd world families really treat handicapped children as gifts? The second time listening, I wondered it the author had trouble fixing the story to meet the end he wanted. Although Tin Win was honest with his American wife about his feelings, he did not win my admiration as a character. The love story was drowned under the bad writing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol LARCHMONT, NY, United States 01-02-14
    Carol LARCHMONT, NY, United States 01-02-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heartwarming"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a beautiful, heartwarming story of love that transcends the ordinary. I LOVED IT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Kramer-Harrison NY 05-04-13 Member Since 2012

    Beulalife

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    "A work of Art"
    If you could sum up The Art of Hearing Heartbeats in three words, what would they be?

    Sendker is able to take you to a world of true beauty. A beautiful relationship blossoms and the descriptive qualities are wonderful. This book captures and paints pictures of life without sight. Stellar.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amanda
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "An endearing and intriguing story."

    I enjoyed this story. An endearing and intriguing tale of love and devotion over time. My book club reviewed the book and there was a real mix of opinion...some found it a bit cliched and couldn't complete it while others absolutely loved it.

    The American accent of the reader jarred a little for me but I managed to finish the story so can't have been that bad on reflection!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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