Where My Heart Used to Beat Summary and Reviews

Where My Heart Used to Beat

by Sebastian Faulks

Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks X
Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2016
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

A sweeping drama about the madness of war and the power of love that marks acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks's return, after twenty years, to the fictional territory of his #1 international bestseller Birdsong.

London, 1980. Robert Hendricks, an established psychiatrist and author, has so bottled up memories of his own wartime past that he is nearly sunk into a life of aloneness and depression. Out of the blue, a baffling letter arrives from one Dr. Alexander Pereira, a neurologist and a World War I veteran who claims to be an admirer of Robert's published work.

The letter brings Robert to the older man's home on a rocky, secluded island off the south of France, and into tempests of memories - his childhood as a fatherless English boy, the carnage he witnessed and the wound he can't remember receiving as a young officer in World War II, and, above all, the great, devastating love of his life, an Italian woman, "L," whom he met during the war.

As Robert's recollections pour forth, he's unsure whether they will lead to psychosis - or redemption. But Dr. Pereira knows. Profoundly affecting and masterfully told, Where My Heart Used to Beat sweeps through the 20th century, brilliantly interrogating the darkest corners of the human mind and bearing tender witness to the abiding strength of love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An absorbing look at the intimate connection between love, war, and memory." - Kirkus

"There's a lot to get through. Perhaps too much...Mood swings and tonal bumps are a hazard of fiction that aspires to be both literary and 'popular'. It's a frustration here, even when set beside the novel's strengths." - The Guardian (UK)

"It sometimes feels that there are too many strands – childhood, war, love life, psychiatry, neurology – for all of them to receive due diligence. Still, this is a profoundly moving novel." - The Independent (UK)

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Author Information

Sebastian Faulks Author Biography

Sebastian Faulks was born on 20 April 1953 and was educated at Wellington College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was the first literary editor of The Independent and became deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday before leaving in 1991 to concentrate on writing. He has been a columnist for The Guardian (1992-8) and the Evening Standard (1997-9). He continues to contribute articles and reviews to a number of newspapers and magazines. He wrote and presented the Channel 4 Television series 'Churchill's Secret Army', screened in 1999. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

His first novel, A Trick of the Light, was published in 1984. His other novels include The Girl at the Lion d'Or (1989), set in France between the First and Second ...

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