Before anything else, the title of the book made me pick it up. In the hope of learning something new about love and being transported to another magical tale of love, I started reading The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. It’s a piece of German literature translated in English by Kevin Wiliarty. Here’s presenting The Art of Hearing Heartbeats review, straight from the heart.
The old man’s eyes struck me first. They rested deep in their sockets, and he seemed unable to take them off me. Granted, everyone in the teahouse was staring at me more or less unabashedly, but he was the most brazen. As if I were some exotic creature he’d never seen before.
These are the opening lines of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. That’s the thing about this book. It hooks you and stops your mind from diverting with every word. The character speaking these words is Julia Win. This story is about her and told by her. She is on a hunt, searching for her lost father. Her search leads her to the tea house where she meets the old man staring at her. He knows things about her father and promises to share it with her as long as she listens. The old man goes on to tell her tales about her father, right from his childhood that makes Julia see her father in a completely new light, even as a stranger.
The book celebrates the purest form of love- all-consuming, conquering, and uncorrupted. The journey of Julia Win and her discovery of her father and his past and secrets has already won many hearts, and this time, mine too!
The point behind writing this novel for Jan-Philipp Sendker was he wanted to establish the idea of true love in whoever reads it. He had once revealed in an interview, “If our life as humans shall have meaning, we need to love and need to be loved no matter where we live. That’s what my book is all about.” And so the writing, like the book, is sentimental, powerful and magnetic. Kevin Wiliarty has done an expert job of translating the beautiful work. Though I read the translated version by Kevin Wiliarty, one can see it is Sendker, who is talking to us through a different language than he wrote in.
Whether you are a fiction or no fiction reader. A lover of love stories, history, thrillers or science. Go for The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats. You won’t regret it. For me, it is 5/5 stars.