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A Well-Tempered Heart cover art

A Well-Tempered Heart

By: Jan-Philipp Sendker
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
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Summary

The sequel to the international bestselling novel The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.

Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father's native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads; her boyfriend recently left her, she has suffered a miscarriage, and she is, despite her wealth, unhappy with her professional life. Julia is lost and exhausted.

One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a stranger's voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation. In the following days, her crisis only deepens. Not only does the female voice refuse to disappear, but it starts to ask questions Julia has been trying to avoid. Why do you live alone? To whom do you feel close? What do you want in life?

Interwoven with Julia's story is that of a Burmese woman named Nu Nu who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers. This spirited sequel, like The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, explores the most inspiring and passionate terrain: The human heart.

©2014 Jan-Philipp Sendker (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"An absorbing, moving sequel." ( Booklist)
"Sendker [is] a mesmerizing storyteller." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about A Well-Tempered Heart

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A well tempered heart was a wonderful book

This is a beautifully written, will read book, combining mysticism with history, love, with hate, beauty, with ugliness, and a genuine sense of what it might of been like in Burma at the time of the book was written. The story of the two brothers was fascinating and totally unexpected. So many different stories are interwoven all come together. It was very satisfying to spend time with this book. I especially like the way it was read.

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A bit thin

Having loved The Art of Hearing Heartbeats I found this sequel less enthralling. Maybe the narrator‘s flat delivery had something to do with it; I’m not sure but I find myself rather disappointed

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I just wish I had the patience

Would you try another book written by Jan-Philipp Sendker or narrated by Cassandra Campbell?

I loved the prequel to this story and read it in the traditional way (ie hard copy book). The story was beautifully written, endearing and a lovely change to the hustle and bustle of every day life. I lost myself in the story and felt very peaceful every time I read it. As I'm a commuter, I thought I'd try the next book via audiobook but try as I might, I just couldn't get past the narrator's irritating and ingratiating voice. I can only assume that as the book is such a lovely but somewhat calmly written story, the narrator decided to read it in a kind of breathy, whimsical way which only served to annoy me. There were long breaks in the narrative which were wholly unnecessary and I guess were only used to set the 'mood' but the only mood it generated was a bad one! I tried to get past this by perseverance but despite going for over two hours, I just found the only thing the irksome voice was doing was ruining the story for me. The voice just didn't sit with the characters and made them all sound just that little bit pathetic rather than the strong, independent person that the lead character was, albeit someone who is feeling a little lost along the way.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I've started reading the book and it's alot better.

Any additional comments?

I actually really hate writing bad reviews as I feel it is unfair and can be taken personally which isn't my intention. I would be happy to try another book that the narrator has read but this time, it just didn't work and it didn't work badly.

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  • dogs are us
  • 10-04-14

a book that touches all senses

What did you love best about A Well-Tempered Heart?

I read his first book - "The art of hearing heart beat" which is pretty much a must to start with before reading this one. They are both written like a poem , like a melody of one's spirit. The book left me thinking and wondering about one's choices in life and the always existing opportunity to forgive and move on. Listening to one's Intuition is the key element which spoke to me.

What other book might you compare A Well-Tempered Heart to and why?

the first book -" The art of hearing heartbeat" and "on thousand white woman" by Jim Fergus.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me walk more as this is when I listen to my books and volunteer to every carpool suggested so I could listen to it in the car.......

Any additional comments?

Grab!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Crumpton
  • 11-12-18

Boring. Disappointed

I couldn’t wait for this book to be over. Soapy premise and poor explanations of events.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MadisonGirl
  • 01-11-15

Listen to your heart

We all go through life on particular paths, some of which don't fit as we travel them. This book explores what happens when Julia jumps off, or maybe is pushed off, her regular life. Beautifully written and faithfully translated, the story captures you immediately and subtilely transforms you. If you don't want to change then don't engage with this book. You may find yourself quietly watching both nature and those around you with new interest.

2 people found this helpful

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  • catrob
  • 10-01-22

Wonderful

I could not stop listening to the story.
Can’t recommend it highly enough.
The narration was perfect.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ShirleyC
  • 06-06-21

Hauntingly Beautiful!

This is a story of love, truth, and bravery. I was stuck by the honesty of the author’s crafting of words. It was simply mesmerizing and left me wanting more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Tewksbury
  • 30-04-19

Amazing

great story and I really want a third book in the series! The author is a great storyteller

1 person found this helpful

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  • POQA
  • 06-12-16

Outstanding pairing of narrator and Story--

Having loaded a few dozen books on my iPod nano, I scrolled through and chose this book at random, forgetting even why I purchased it in the first place. I had forgotten it was a sequel until I finished the book and was preparing a review. So well written, I did not feel lost or confused or even suspected there was another book with more background information. I was captured within minutes of the beginning of the book. The story starts as Julia, a successful manhattan attorney is standing to give an important presentation when she clearly hears a woman's voice in her head warning her of danger. It throws her off base enough that she panics and leaves without explanations.
The journey she takes to discover why she is hearing this voice and what it could mean to her requires delving into her past life; her "unfinished business" or unresolved issues in her personal life.
Warning: Spoilers from here:

Stateside doctors prescribe anti-psychotic medications but instead, Julia feels drawn to connect with her Burmese half brother who she has not seen in years. Her journey takes her to Burma where she shares her problem with her brother. As she and her brother travel to speak with people her brother feels may be able to help her, Julia is Burma told the voice she hears is a woman who died, and is reincarnated within Julia's body. The woman died with unresolved issues and whose spirit is now residing inside Julia's body as well. There is no way to rid herself of these voices, unless perhaps she can discover the reason the woman is troubled. Doubtful of the truth of this, Julia allows her brother to take her on a journey following clues to learn more about the Burmese woman and her troubled life. The author brilliantly weaves within our heroine's story the story of the deceased Burmese woman and her incredible story. As the Burmese culture and belief system is woven within the story, the plausibility of this woman being the voice in her head become totally believable and this story becomes real, no longer fiction, and a testament of one person's journey through unspeakable suffering and the strength of the human spirit.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Martha
  • 04-09-16

A Beautiful Story

It always amazes me how a book's enjoyment and meaning can be so different for each person. This book was beautifully written as was the first one! The prose was so special. Cassandra Campbell was a perfect narrator once again. I totally enjoyed the entire production. 5 stars on everything!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • A.
  • 09-10-14

Don't Bother

Don't waste your time or money or credits on this one. It's long and very boring.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DIANE
  • 12-08-14

The Art of enjoying Sendker

This book follows Julia, a successful lawyer who, in the first book by this author, travelled to Burma to find her father who had left his family to find the true love of his life, left behind in Burma. Julia returns to Burma to visit her half-brother, whom she had met on her first journey 10 years previously. During the course of the book, Julia finds what she is looking for... herself. Beautifully written and a joy to listen to. Bravo Cassandra Campbell.

1 person found this helpful