Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul

by Maeve Binchy
3.9 229

Hardcover(Large Print)

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Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy

New York Times Bestseller

A story of patients and staff, family, and friends who are part of a heart clinic in a community caught between the old Ireland and the new. 

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. 

"Good-hearted and entertaining.... Offers many honest pleasures." —The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781410411532
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 683
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

MAEVE BINCHY was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined The Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982, and she went on to write more than twenty books, all of them best sellers. Several have been adapted for film and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for thirty-five years, and died in 2012 at the age of seventy-two.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Dublin, Ireland, and London, England

Date of Birth:

May 28, 1940

Place of Birth:

Dalkey, a small village outside Dublin, Ireland


Holy Child Convent in Killiney; B.A. in history, University College, Dublin, 1960

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Heart and Soul 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 229 reviews.
timetraveler-1692- More than 1 year ago
Wow, another great read from Maeve Binchy, filled with love, compassion, suspence, and yes, even intrigue, set in a heart clinic in today's Ireland. When Dr. Clara Casey is offered the job of establishing the underfunded clinic she almost turns it down since she has enough on her plate as it is, namely an ex-husband who won't leave her alone, and two recalcitrant daughters who won't grow up. But reluctantly she accepts the challenge and to her surprise both she and the cliic survive and prosper, due in great part to a devoted cast of characters who help her meet the demands of their often difficult patients with both humor and understanding. One can't help being touched by sweet Ania, the little Polish girl, whose heart was broen by a cad but finds love again, or cheer the romance of nice Dr. Declan and the beautirul Fiona, or laugh at the antics of the fantastically talented twins, Maud and Simon, who not only cook but finish each other's sentences. These are just a few of the marvelously diverse characters who people this enchanting book and make you laugh, cry, and care. Maeve Binch at her best.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Cardiologist Dr. Clara Casey knows how far she has fallen from grace with her new position as the head of t St. Brigid¿s Hospital. She agreed to a one year stint at the always in financial need clinic while trying to resuscitate her medical career. She does no care about revising her dead marriage as she knows it collapsed due to her cheating spouse¿s wandering penis. She also has two adult daughters who are demanding and spoiled and her ex keeps sniffing around her.

Clara plans to do the best she can at St. Brigid¿s and ignore her family as much as possible. She finds her staff hardworking and cheerful in spite of lousy hours, crappy pay, and fractious patients. Her Polish assistant Ania is bright and hardworking although Clara knows if she had been in Ireland she could have been one of her former husband¿s trophies. Instead she is an indispensable addition to the staff. Nurse Fiona Ryan brings professional care taking to the patients having moved past her personal disaster of NIGHTS OF RAIN AND STARS. Outside the clinic Clara meets friendly people especially at a local restaurant. Clara is having the time of her life and considers extending her stay though her daughters and her ex object; like they have a vote on her life.

The fascination with this fine entry by Maeve Binchy is that the star of the story line Clara is off page more often than not as the spotlight is frequently on the support cast in and out of the hospital; the amazement is how well the plot stays focused even meandering to other countries. The cast is strong as always and their lives interweave in a much more complex convoluted intricacies that make the DNA matrix look like a preschool puzzle. With the return of characters like the nurse from previous novels, fans of Ms. Binchy will have a wonderful time reading her latest multifaceted look at relationships.

Harriet Klausner
LCH47 More than 1 year ago
There's something comforting about Maeve Binchy's books, a treat to savor and relish, lovely, compelling, warm and heart-warming. The charm lies is the characters. All are created so that we can empathize with their every day troubles and disappointments and share their joy at their triumphs. We genuinely care about the wonderful characters. Clara, the lead protagonist, is a woman frustrated by having missed out on what she thought would be her defining professional opportunity. She agrees to set up and run the under-funded St. Brigid's Heart Clinic for 12 months and in doing so gathers around her new and interesting characters. She encounters personal problems, Alan, who is asking her for a divorce so he can marry his child girlfriend, her adult daughters, Adi and Linda, who are having their own problems settling down and so on. This is a charming blend of laughter and tears full of "Heart and Soul" and wonderful, interesting characters. I RECOMMEND!
Jen_in_Kentucky More than 1 year ago
This book was a great culmination of her former books. What fun to read through and see the characters from previous books brought into this story. This is a great book for readers who have read her other works!
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
Just when you think you¿ll never find another good book, one to comfort you when you are tired and stressed out, one to remind you that life is full of wonderful surprises, and one that introduces you to people you will love like they are your own best friends, Maeve Binchy rescues you with another fabulous novel. If you are already a fan of Maeve Binchy then you will find Heart and Soul is everything you have come to expect in her books. If this is your first introduction to her, you will soon find yourself racing out to gather all her books, and what a treat you are in for!
As I fully expected, I loved Heart and Soul. It is full of quirky, loveable, interesting characters. The plot is surprising, often going in directions I hadn¿t expected, yet always yielding satisfying conclusions. Many characters from her previous books make appearances and some even have starring roles. It was great to catch up with some of my old friends! I can¿t recommend Heart and Soul highly enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Characters from other stories are re-visited. Felt like returning to a place and characters you fell in love with and making some new friends. An enjoyable book, a quick read
gm37 More than 1 year ago
I have read most of Maeve Binchy's books and haven't been disappointed an any one of them. Love it when I can find one I haven't read yet.
Middlesis More than 1 year ago
I read about three quarters of this book and put it down. I'm not sure I'll finish it unless I get a renewed spirt of interest. This is the second book by this author and I didn't care for the other one so I'll probably not purchase anymore.
libramama More than 1 year ago
She's loaded this up with cutesy, hardly-believable characters and way too many subplots. I'm done with Maeve. Enjoyed her in the past, but no longer.
MissLouise More than 1 year ago
With the US health care raging in the background, and everyone saying how it will be awful it we have to be like the "other"countries, it was a heartwarming and reassuring to see the "other" countries DO take care of their population also. Important health care issues, provider issues, family issues dealing with those with a heath care disability and even illness forcing life change issues are all encompassed in this story. Thrown in this story are also life as a single working parent, teenagers and health care politics, making it a very timely and wonderful read.
adunlea More than 1 year ago
Heart and Soul is a new paperback by Maeve Binchy. It is published by Orion and its ISBN is 1409102319. Maeve Binchy is my favourite author so my expectations were very high and I was not disappointed. She makes something complex look very easy and that is her great skill and strength. She writes of ordinary people with ordinary problems in a compassionate and easy to read fashion. Somehow their lives interweave to make the tale complete. Occasionally she reintroduces old characters into her novels and she has done that here with great ease. This tale is all heart and appropriately it is set in a Dublin heart clinic. The novel is mainly about the first year of St. Brigid's heart clinic. Dr. Clara Casey initially takes on the role as head of cardiology for a year and she sets about acquiring competent and cheerful staff. Soon the clinic becomes an integral part of the community and a symbol of hope. The story examines Dr. Casey's hectic life, her staffs lives and their patients and their interactions with one another and of course their romances. This is not a sad tale of illness but a story of hope and managing cardiac illness to live a fulfilled life. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of The Honey Trap and Always and Forever
ZZCZ More than 1 year ago
A lovely story and read, especially on a rainy, cold day. Lots of characters, but they are well developed and not too difficult to follow. Ms. Binchy's story shows the changing face of Ireland and the difficulties and opportunities that represents. The main plot is still the basis of life through the ages, finding, developing and keeping meaninful relationships and a purpose in life. Her writing reminds me of my favorite author Roseamund Pilchner of Scotland.
Mrrigsby More than 1 year ago
New characters and old friends appear in this story and each of them comes to life in Ms. Binchy's unforgetable style. It's like getting a news letter from home. Loved every minute of it.
BookLoaner More than 1 year ago
This was one of Maeve Binchy's best. The blending of characters from previous books made the reader feel like a walk down "memory lane." The story was riveting from the first page until the very end. If you want a book you literally can't put down, this is it.
sweet--pea More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way she intermingled all the characters. She was able to write so you could keep the different characters straight and yet they went on with their daily life. I enjoyed the way she intertwined the lives of each of the main characters. There were some that had many faults and she was not afraid to bring these out... I liked the ending because it brought everyone together and finished the book up nicely. I would highly recommend this book as a good read to my friends
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was never much of a fan of Ms Binchy's books and this one does not bring me back into the fold. The characters in this story are paper thin, the plot line is predictable. I was hoping there would be more "Irishnish" in this book. The only book I ever enjoyed was the early "Tara Road"; since then this is boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too repetitious, too many unbelievable and overly long incidents. Also, the twins are becoming tiresome.
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bayareagirl More than 1 year ago
Predictable pat and sappy. No conflict that isn't just quickly toed up with a sugary bow in a few pages. Focus please!  not all over the plots that you can imagine as a writer. Reminded me go a good fourth grade girl's idea of writing a story.  
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I just read 'minding frankie' and realized I had missed something along the way so went back and found this one, enjoyed it greatly, her writing can plod along at times or wander a bit but its kind of a gentle reminder to take a break and enjoy whats around me. Shes big on relationships and I love the strength of the obes she develops throughout each story. Declan was darling and I wanted to wrap him up and bring him home.