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Publisher's Summary

With the insight, humor, and compassion we have come to expect from her, Maeve Binchy tells a story of family, friends, patients, and staff who are part of a heart clinic in a community caught between the old and the new Ireland.

Dr. Clara Casey has been offered the thankless job of establishing the underfunded clinic and agrees to take it on for a year. She has plenty on her plate already - two difficult adult daughters and the unwanted attentions of her ex-husband - but she assembles a wonderfully diverse staff devoted to helping their demanding, often difficult patients.

Before long the clinic is established as an essential part of the community, and Clara must decide whether or not to leave a place where lives are saved, courage is rewarded, and humor and optimism triumph over greed and self-pity. Heart and Soul is Maeve Binchy at her storytelling best.

©2009 Maeve Binchy; (P)2009 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Interweaving the domestic narratives of a dissimilar collection of individuals is beloved Binchy's stock-in-trade, and once again, she does so with sublime ease, inventively engaging readers through a reassuring and persuasive combination of gracious warmth, gentle humor, and genuine affection." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    110
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    72
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
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  • Overall

Sorry Meave

I am a BIG Maeve Binchy fan, but this one is dreadful - there are way too many characters, the story is disjointed, some characters are never developed and it goes no-where. Maeve - what were you thinking? By-pass this one is my recommendation. Sorry Maeve.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Disappointed

As a big fan of Maeve Binchy, I have to say this was not one of her best books in my opinion. Too many characters were introduced and too few of them were developed enough. She kept throwing in names/characters from her previous novels where it really wasn't necessary. I'm a little annoyed that I paid 2 tokens for this book. Not worth it.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 05-16-10

Not the Best

I agree with all of what other reviewer's have stated. I have not read any other Maeve Binchy books. And after reading these reviews, I wonder why I don't pay more attention to them beforehand.

The story as uneven. Many, many characters. It goes into detail about this priest's situation even though I would not have considered him a main character. The detail about Anya, even with her being more of a main character, went on for far too long. The twin's travels to Greece adding nothing to Fiona's issues, and it should have. Even more importantly, I do NOT get why the twins had to sond like robots!? The obnoxious woman had a role that should have been more suited to the mother of the bride or groom.

Altogether the narration was odd. As said, sometimes it was Irish, sometimes it was not. It did get confusing. The Polish was too thick. I did not find it easy to distinguish between the characters, but that was partly because there were too many.

Listen if you want, but I would not put mch stock into it. It makes me wonder if I should try another one of this author's books. Definitely I will avoid the nrrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Linda
  • Bay Shore, NY, United States
  • 06-17-09

Terrible narration choices were made!!

this should have been an easy and charming book to listen to. Sile Bermingham, however, ruined it for me.

First of all, puzzlingly, she reads in an American accent for all the Irish characters.

Much worse than that is her "Polish" accent which is so stilted, incorrect and just UGLY that I found it impossible to listen to. Also a pair of twins show up that talk exactly like robots! Why???

I turned it off after a few hours. I couldn't keep on having my ears assaulted. it's too bad...

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Story

I can always count on Maeve Binchy to tell a heart warming story. I gave her 5 stars, but the narrator just 3 stars, hence the 4 star rating.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kerri
  • Bothell, WA, United States
  • 04-02-10

Boring Binchy

there was absolutely no plot to this book whatsoever--just a bunch of random characters' stories woven around a thin location. Long, rambling stories that lead you no where. Very disjointed, I got confused in the middle of the novel when it diverts to some hackneyed story about a priest. All of the characters' issues wrap up too neatly and it makes Dublin look like Hayseed, Iowa. If I was Irish, I'd be a bit offended by this quaint village show she puts on. I liked her other novels but this one just DRAGGED.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sharon
  • West Monroe, LA, United States
  • 05-25-12

Not Maeve's best but still a great listen

I can always count on Maeve Binchy's books to be enjoyable listens full of characters and charming narration. This book, while not one of her best, was still fun to listen to though I have preferred other Binchy audiobook narrators over this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not her best

The story was not one of her best. It was pretty predictable. The reader was not up to par either. Sometimes she used an Irish accent and other times it faded. Also, it was read a bit slow. I probably would have like it better in general if it had be read better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anne
  • Salinas, CA, USA
  • 02-10-10

Distracting reader

The narrator lisps. If you can tolerate "s" being pronounced "th", go for it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • MARCIA
  • Lake Forest, CA, United States
  • 07-23-09

Sorry, not worth my time

The story sounded interesting in the summary description and although I never read Maeve Binchy I like stories about medicine (I'm a nurse and my husband's a physician) and I often find stories about my husband's family homeland charming and fun. However, after just 45 minutes, I realized this is a "He said/She said" book in the style of romantic novels and I prefer to spend my time reading or listening to books that are well-written and worthy of the description "great literature." So sorry, this one's not for me.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful