‘Heart and Soul’ by Maeve Binchy

  Reading Maeve Binchy’s “Heart and Soul” is like plunking down on the couch with a comfortable blanket and a box full of mixed doughnuts for an episode of “General Hospital.”
  Sweet indulgence.
  Dr. Clara Casey agrees to take on the job of establishing an underfunded heart clinic at St. Brigid’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. She takes to the job like a pit bull to a mailman, hiring another doctor, nurses, therapists and assistants, all the while dodging roadblocks put up by the hospital’s budget penny-pincher.
  It doesn’t take long for Clara’s efforts to pay off. Patients rave about the clinic and the confidence it has given them after suffering unsettling heart problems. But Clara has her own heart problems, though hers are emotional rather than physical.
  Clara’s ex-husband, who has gotten his young girlfriend pregnant, won’t seem to leave her alone. Her two adult daughters still live at home, and one in particular is having a difficult time finding her own way. And a handsome pharmacist Clara begins dating might be prince charming.
  Clara isn’t the only one with personal problems. The clinic staff members, who grow into a united little family, each have their own stories, and Binchy explores them all. From the new doctor who develops a crush on a young nurse, to a Polish girl working diligently to forget her past and make enough money to send some home to her mother, to a Catholic priest being stalked and blackmailed by a crazy female parishioner.
  The drama never stops in “Heart and Soul,” which is an entertaining read to say the least. So pour yourself a bubble bath, crack open the book and let Maeve Binchy take you away.
  “Heart and Soul” is a delicious delight.

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