Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Well-Tempered Heart-Jan Philipp Sendker

A Well-Tempered Heart Jan Philipp Sendker Other Press, Jan 21 2014, $15.95 ISBN: 9781590516409 Several years after Julia Win’s father Tin gave up his New York legal practice to return to his homeland Burma, she followed him to learn why he abandoned her and her mom. There she learned of Tin’s beloved soul mate Mi Mi in which true love never dies in spite of fifty years and thousands of miles apart, and met her brother Monk U Ba (see The Art of Hearing Heartbeats). After returning to the States, Julia became a successful but dissatisfied lawyer practicing in Manhattan. A decade since her Asian roots trip, Julia and her boyfriend end their relationship, which adds malaise to her overall depression that there is more to life. While at an important work meeting, a female voice begins talking to her inside her head. Stunned, she walks out without a word to the other attendees, but the persistent voice keeps asking her thought-provoking questions re Julia’s unhappiness. After consulting with her sister Amy, Julia decides to return to her father’s homeland to see her other sibling. U Ba welcomes her and introduces Julia to Nu Nu; who tells the dispirited American about how her sons were drafted as expendable child soldiers. Win’s second trip to her paternal roots is a wonderful spiritual journey that once again provides readers with historical perspective this time through Nu Nu’s tale. Though it lacks the incredible passionate romance of the first adventures; a strong support cast, a winning locale and a lost soul seeking something she is unsure of what make for a delightful sequel. Harriet Klausner

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