The Heart Has Its Reasons

The Heart Has Its Reasons

5.0 1
by Maria Duenas
     
 

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Declared “a writer to watch” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), New York Times bestselling author María Dueñas pours heart and soul into this story of a woman who discovers the power of second chances.

A talented college professor in Madrid, Blanca Perea seems to have it all. But her world is suddenly shattered when her

Overview

Declared “a writer to watch” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), New York Times bestselling author María Dueñas pours heart and soul into this story of a woman who discovers the power of second chances.

A talented college professor in Madrid, Blanca Perea seems to have it all. But her world is suddenly shattered when her husband of twenty years leaves her for another woman. Questioning the life she once had and whether she truly knows herself, Blanca resolves to change her surroundings. She accepts what looks like a boring research grant in California involving an exiled Spanish writer who died decades ago. Anxious to leave her own troubled life behind, she is gradually drawn into his haunted world, with its poignant loves and unfulfilled ambitions.

But in delving into the past, Blanca finds herself simultaneously awakened to the present by Daniel Carter, a charismatic professor with crucial knowledge about the dead writer that he has never before revealed. Amid this web of passion, conflict, and hidden feelings, including her own, Blanca advances like an avid detective, refusing to quit, and ultimately discovers startling answers that resonate deeply in her own life.

Evocative, lyrical, and humorous, The Heart Has Its Reasons is a journey of the soul from the pangs of the past to the vibrant present. It is a story about the thrill of creating one’s life anew.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/29/2014
Duenas’s second novel (after The Time in Between) highlights a Spanish woman’s revelations as she escapes the heartbreak of her own life by studying a countryman whose life ended too soon. In 1999 Spain, linguistics professor Blanca Perea is devastated when her husband, the father of their two grown children, has left her for a younger woman who is carrying his child. Blanca is thrilled to accept a three-month fellowship at the University of Santa Cecelia, near San Francisco. Blanca’s primary assignment is to organize and assess documents once belonging to Andres Fontanta, a fellow Spaniard and former faculty member who died in the 1960s. At Santa Cecelia, Blanca meets former professor Daniel Carter, an American who spent time in Spain and knew Andres before his death. As Blanca digs through Andres’s documents, she learns about the missions that were started by the Franciscans in America and develops a closer friendship with Daniel. But she also uncovers secrets deeper than those found in the decades-old papers. Duenas’s novel is brilliantly executed, and it moves expertly between decades as it reveals truths of history and of humanity. (Nov.)
Miss Em Recommends
"An exploration of grief, loss, and recovery; of growing up and growing onward, of heart and home."
The Book Binder’s Daughter
"I highly recommend The Heart Has Its Reasons for anyone who might want a deeper understanding and appreciation for Spanish culture. This novel reminds us that there is always hope even when we feel at our lowest and life is always about moving forward.”
El Mundo (Spain)
“Dueñas more than lives up to her title as one of the best contemporary authors today.”
Donna Moderna (Italy)
“A story you will not want to put down.”
De Volkskrant (Holland)
“An ingeniously architectural work structured around fascinating lives.”
Baarnsche Courant (Holland)
“Once again Dueñas has created a book that makes you forget the world for a few days.”
Booklist
“Dueñas evokes 1930s and 1950s Spain through lushly detailed imagery.”
La Repubblica (Italy)
“Dueñas’s second novel is able maintain the same pitch of urgency as The Time in Between.”
La Vanguardia (Spain)
“In vivid moving prose, María Dueñas tells a story that is highly entertaining.”
Library Journal
06/01/2014
A professor at the University of Murcia in Spain, Dueñas debuted with The Time in Between, a New York Times best seller that became the basis of a TV series dubbed the Spanish Downton Abbey. Here, when her husband leaves her for another woman, college professor Blanca Perea flies from Madrid to San Francisco and throws herself into studying the life and loves of a mysterious Spanish writer long since dead. With an 11-city tour to Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-09
A professor desperate to escape her problems stumbles into research that will change her life in this novel from Dueñas (The Time in Between, 2011). When Blanca Perea's husband leaves her for another woman, she wants to get away from her shattered life as soon as possible. She accepts a research grant that takes her all the way to California, as far from Madrid as she can get. Blanca doesn't even care that her project involves nothing more than sorting through the abandoned papers of a long-dead professor. She decides to commit herself fully to organizing Andres Fontana's legacy instead of focusing on her lackluster personal life. She eventually gets to know many of her colleagues, including an old professor, Daniel Carter, who just so happened to be a friend of Fontana's. Through reading his papers and studying his life, Blanca starts to realize that Fontana actually lived a remarkable life…and that Carter might be more connected to him than she originally realized. Through flashbacks, the reader learns about Fontana's formative years, as well as Carter's time in Spain. The flashbacks contain so much information and historical background that they can be hard to follow. While they're certainly interesting and informative, they slow down the pace of the story. However, the parallels between Blanca's life and that of the man she's studying are beautifully detailed. A slow-paced but ultimately satisfying story of a woman who comes to terms with her past by investigating someone else's.
—El Mundo (Spain)
“Dueñas more than lives up to her title as one of the best contemporary authors today.”
—La Vanguardia (Spain)
“In vivid moving prose, María Dueñas tells a story that is highly entertaining.”
—Donna Moderna (Italy)
“A story you will not want to put down.”
—La Repubblica (Italy)
“Dueñas’s second novel is able maintain the same pitch of urgency as The Time in Between.”
— Baarnsche Courant (Holland)
“An ingeniously architectural work structured around fascinating lives.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451668339
Publisher:
Atria Books
Publication date:
11/11/2014
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,288,235
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

María Dueñas is the author of the New York Times and internationally bestselling novel The Time In Between, which was translated into twenty-five languages and inspired a successful television series under the same title, as well as the highly acclaimed The Heart Has Its Reasons. She holds a PhD in English philology and is currently a professor at the University of Murcia. Dueñas has also taught at American universities, authored several academic articles, and has participated in various educational, cultural, and editorial projects. She lives in Murcia, Spain.

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The Heart Has Its Reasons 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful novel. Loved the characters. The novel includes: love, mystery, historical searches, tradgedy, friendships, divorce, anger, forgiveness, and more. Excellent. I loved her first too: The Time in Between. Highly recommended. This books deserves an A++++++++