Monday 28 November 2022

Sendker, Jan-Philipp "A Well-Tempered Heart"

Sendker, Jan-Philipp "A Well-Tempered Heart" (Burma Trilogy #2) (German: Herzenstimmen) - 2012

After reading "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" (Das Herzenhören), the first part of the Burma Trilogy, I naturally had to know how the story continues.

Julia Win, whom we already know from the first book, suddenly hears a voice inside her. She is advised to go back to Burma to find out what the voice is trying to tell her. I don't believe in such mystical experiences, but Julia's story on her return visit is very interesting. She learns the history of Burma, meets new people, finds a new love, sees her life with different eyes. And the reader learns a lot about the differences between East and West.

As always, Jan-Philipp Sendker has written a wonderful story about Asia. His language is captivating and this is a very good sequel to a wonderful book.

From the back cover:

"Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father’s native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads; her boyfriend recently left her, she has suffered a miscarriage, and she is, despite her wealth, unhappy with her professional life. Julia is lost and exhausted.

One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a stranger’s voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation. In the following days, her crisis only deepens. Not only does the female voice refuse to disappear, but it starts to ask questions Julia has been trying to avoid. Why do you live alone? To whom do you feel close? What do you want in life?

Interwoven with Julia’s story is that of a Burmese woman named Nu Nu who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers. This spirited sequel, like The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, explores the most inspiring and passionate terrain: the human heart."


  1. When I hear Burma in books, I think of the awesome book by Emma Larkin, Finding Orwell in Burma. This is very different, but appealing as well

    1. That sounds interesting, Emma. I will have to check that out. Thanks.

  2. I read his novel The Art of Hearing Heartbeats which was great. I should read another one by him. It was written with a great sensitivity about Asia.

    1. I'm glad you liked the first book of the trilogy, Lisbeth. You are right, he really tries to understand the Asian soul. He's lived there for a long time and seems to have made many connections. He's also written a great non-fiction book (Risse in der großen Mauer) but it hasn't been translated. :(