“I speak of a love that brings sight to the blind. Of a love stronger than fear. I speak of a love that breathes meaning into life, that defies the natural laws of deterioration, that causes us to flourish, that knows no bounds. I speak of the triumph of the human spirit over selfishness and death.”–U Ba, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
- Here’s what happens:
- Intelligent, successful Julia jets off from her lawyer job and refined life in New York City to search for her missing father in Burma after discovering a cryptic letter that makes her wonder if there is more to her quiet, restrained father’s life than she had known. This leads her on a journey where she learns about her own heritage, experiences more than a few cultural shocks, and ultimately gains more knowledge about love, duty, and what it means to understand one another.
- It’s good because:
- It’s beautifully written and you can’t help but sympathize with Julia, who is a lovable perfectionist seeking insight into her family and her life. Equal parts introspective literary journey and fantastical Burmese fairy tale, this story is simultaneously exotic and familiar.
- Read if:
- You can’t decide between magical realism and literary romance. Sendker paints a fantastical love story that teeters on the verge of mysticism, but ends up creating a transcendental, overwhelming picture of love at its strongest that is grounded in life’s realest moments. The power and magic of this story unfolds up until the very last page.
Up next: Croatia with Girl at War by Sara Novic!