Subtitled A Novel of the Heart, this book tells the story of two people with heart problems: a little girl with a hole in her heart in need of a transplant and a man with a broken heart who can’t escape his past.
The ‘heart” metaphor is worked and reworked like that throughout the book. And there are more details about heart surgery and heart disease and transplantation than you’d ever want to know unless you’re a heart patient or planning to become a cardiologist. You should also know heading into this book that there’s some understated spiritual content (rather generic), and the ending is tricksy, it is, gollum, gollum.
One of the characters in the book says of a novel she’s finished that “it had its moments.” The same could be said of Mr. Martin’s “novel of the heart.” It’s emotionally manipulative, and there were a few plot developments that strained my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. However, you might be willing to give it a little leeway if you get interested in the characters —and their hearts.