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Judy Croome: Author on the Prowl

Judy Croome lives, writes and reads in Johannesburg, South Africa.  A novelist & poet, Judy loves cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, rainy days and cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome

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

Telling two stories at once, this gentle novel has mystical overtones and contains the wisdom of the Buddhist monks who play a role in Tin Win's life. At the heart of it, this is both a delicate romance and a tale of poignant family love. 

The main story is the romance between Mi Mi and Tin Win. Two ordinary, but extraordinary, souls meet in a rural Burmese village, and stay connected despite any physical distance between them. Tin Win's American daughter Julia, searching for her father Tin Win, who was missing in more ways than one, learns from a stranger the reasons behind her father's enigmatic and restrained lifestyle, despite his success in his adopted country, America.

Translated from German by Kevin Wiliarty, Sendker's beautiful novel does reflect the "lost in translation" syndrome - at times there was too Western a tone to the central characters' dialogue, but overall this novel has a depth and strength that carries a reader along like a cloud of smoke wafting in a breeze. 

With vivid descriptions of a simple lifestyle in an exotic country, there is much to take away from this beautiful novel, which essentially explores the nature of love, life and death.