lara Casey has more than enough on her plate. Her daughters Adi and Linda were no problem during the usually turbulent teens. Now Adi is always fighting for or against something: the environment or the whale or battery farming; while Linda lurches from one unsatisfactory relationship to the next. As if this wasn’t enough, Clara, a senior cardiac specialist, has a new job to cope with – and now her ex-husband wants something from her…
For Ania, meeting Clara Casey is a miracle. She never intended to leave Poland – but perhaps a new job in a new country will mend her broken heart? Declan is looking forward to joining the clinic – but what should have been a straightforward six-month posting brings him far more than he expected.
Then there’s Father Brian Flynn, whose life is turned upside down when his reputation is threatened; and the beautiful, cheerful nurse, Fiona, who can’t leave her troubled past behind…
Similar to Quentins, this was a Binchy reunion book. With characters from Evening Class, Scarlet Feather, Nights of Rain and Stars, Whitethorn Woods, and probably more that I’ve forgotten – it was nice to once again check in for an update. I mean, Simon and Maud are teenagers – it’s worth it for that alone.
These characters’ stories are less separated into seemingly short stories, and so Heart and Soul feels a lot more cohesive than some of Binchy’s other works. The many romances feel more natural, the characters are complex and interesting, and you get a good idea of how their lives intermingle, mainly through this new heart clinic.
As usual, 95% of the characters are good-natured and lovely people with a few built-in villains and religious nuts. With a few dark patches for everyone to overcome, usually as a team, there’s plenty of drama to keep you hooked.
Binchy’s voice rings true throughout Heart and Soul, and it is once again incredibly easy to read. While I may be starting to find my journey through her published works to be a little repetitive, I think I’ve been spacing them out enough to be able to finish without burning out – only two more to go!