Review: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – Jan-Philipp Sendker

I heard about Jan-Philipp Sendker’s “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” from one of my colleagues that said it was a beautiful and romantic novel. I’m a sucker for a good love story, but this novel goes above and beyond what one expects from a typical romance novel. Jan-Philipp Sendker  has created a connection between two soul mates that defines the word love.

We’re first introduced to Julia, a woman who’s feeling the scorn of her Father’s decision to leave their Family four years prior. After finding a letter to a woman named Mimi that was never mailed, Julia decides that she needs some answers to her questions, so she packs up her bags and heads to Burma, a country in Southeast Asia to confront her Father. Unfortunately, Julia knows nothing of her Father’s past, so deciding to travel to a Country with no information about the man she’s on pursuit to find, poses a tad bit of a problem. Luckily, when Julia arrives she meets a man by the name of U Ba who wants to tell her the story of her Father, he explains that hearing this story will ultimately lead her to finding him. Thus begins the story of Tin Win and his beloved Mimi.

U Ba begins to tell the tale of her Father’s past in small chunks of time, he has to take breaks because of his age, but also because it’s so much information that he doesn’t want to overload the young woman. Julia pictures her Father as a quiet, private man and it’s enlightening and shocking to hear about a man that she quickly realizes, she doesn’t know at all.

I’ve contemplated all the different ways I can share this unconventional love story in this review, but to share even a sentence or two describing how Tin Win and Mimi’s love developed would be an injustice. I can ensure you that this book is like no other novel I’ve ever read, it’s the kind of novel that stays with you for days based solely on the basis that it’s stunning literature.

Please read this book, keep tissues nearby… Then email me at and thank me.


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