I've really enjoyed Sebastian Faulk's books in the past. Engleby is actually somewhere up there on my "everyone should read this book list" without any doubt. I'll cut to the chase Where My Heart Used to Beat is potentially in the running for that list too.
As with many of his works it is a study of life, love, the meaning of being but more importantly about love and how some people experience a really stunning moment of love in their lives - although it may be all too brief. In this way it follows on from the theme in his last work - A Possible Life - where he covered love in a series of short stories. Here we have a single hero character - a psychiatrist. Someone who has worked his life to understand mental illness and how to help those with it to a better life. Dr Robert Hendricks lost his father to WWI and himself fought in WWII. Set initially in the early 80s we find a 60 something Hendricks reviewing his life - aided by some others who somewhat set this up as it were.
Faulk's does introduce Dr Hendricks in a manner whereby for many you may feel he is a man of little integrity and honour and then rebuilds that. Only again for that to be questioned by actions that are revealed from his past.
I think this is a terrific novel - like many of Faulk's work it isn't a jolly read, it isn't for the feint-hearted and may if you are passed the top of the hill of your life like me make you a little uncomfortable in terms of considering exactly what have you achieved in life. However it does show again how people's life and love are so moving and important to us. I totally recommend it.
Very rarely awarded but this the second time Faulk's gets one (the other was for Engleby) Two Thumbs up with a Grin
* Furtheron Thumbs Up Book Review Scale -
lowest is both thumbs down with a frown
two thumbs down,
one thumb horizontal,
two thumbs horizontal,
one thumb up,
two thumbs up
two thumbs up with a grin - very rarely awarded