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Jan-Philipp Sendker lives in Berlin with his family. He was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, his first novel, was an international bestseller, and he’s the author of A Well- Tempered Heart, Whispering Shadows and its sequel Dragon Games. He is currently at work on the third novel set in Hong Kong.
A darkly captivating, tense, and beautifully written tale, that explores fear and the innermost thoughts and feelings of hearts and minds. This is the second in the ‘China’ series, and I really do recommend starting with the wonderful ‘Whispering Shadows’. Paul Leibovitz finds himself on an emotional collision course as he battles for justice in China. His girlfriend Christine, is connected to China in a way that, even with all of his knowledge of the East, Paul can not understand, and their two stories, twist around each other, separated, yet together. The prologue surprised me, it is a tormented and heartbreaking lament, the voice reappears during the novel, absolutely haunting in it’s intensity. I found myself connecting to characters who are just a whisper on the page, feeling their pain and confusion. Jan-Philipp Sendker paints a vividly striking picture of a different world, yet he doesn't pass judgement, instead allowing you to watch, listen and learn. ‘Dragon Games’ hovers on a honed knife edge of tension, it’s a deeply moving story, and slowly seeped into my soul. ~ Liz Robinson Click here to read a Q&A with this author.
A 2016 World Book Night selection. ‘Whispering Shadows’ may be classed as a murder mystery, however it is one with true heart and soul, and is a sincerely beautiful read. The first in a trilogy, Jan-Philipp Sendker has departed from the format of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and A Well-Tempered Heart, yet the enticing mix of East and West again weaves its magic touch. Paul Leibovitz has spent 30 years living in Hong Kong, he has experienced tragedy and has cut himself off from the rest of the world; a chance meeting sets him on a collision course with his feelings, his past and a possible future. Sendker obviously has a profound connection with China, his writing not only allows you to open your eyes in a different land, but also to feel, to touch, to think with consideration and compassion. Ranging from delicate and thoughtful to commanding and persuasive ensures this a convincing and fascinating read. ~ Liz Robinson
March 2014 Book of the Month. An intriguing and beguiling read, told with great eloquence and understanding. Burma and the USA are unlikely bedfellows as a setting, however this juxtaposition helps focus on the different characters and their yearning for compassion and love. Part of the novel is set within a period of civil war, the hardships accentuate the spiritual and friendly nature of the community caught in this internal conflict and you feel that the author has a great love for Burma and its people. His lightness of touch, when dealing with heartache and sorrow, emphasise the intensity of feelings within the main characters. There is no discord or disharmony between the different stories being told and by the end the tales fit enchantingly together like two sides of the same jigsaw. Although this is a much anticipated sequel, you do not have to have read the award winning The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. This book stands resolutely in its own right, however there are suggestive hints, that if you haven't yet done so, will encourage you to explore the story of Julias father, the man who could hear heartbeats. ~ Liz Robinson In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for A Well Tempered Heart a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'A beautifully written book about a beautiful country and culture. If you love a sensitive thoughtful book then this is the one for you.' Sarah Musk Scroll down to read more reviews. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Normally publishers are wary of sequels but Jan-Philipp Sendker’s follow up to the smash hit Art of Hearing Heartbeats does not disappoint. Everything is there: the mix of East and West, the pain of lives pulled apart by the bitter conflict of war and, most of all, the emotional pull of love, loss and forgiveness. All infused with Jan-Philipp’s spellbinding story-telling; you won’t be able to put it down.' - Neville Moir, Editor, Polygon Books
One of our Books of the Year 2013. A beautifully written, inspiring love story and fairy tale. Originally written in German it has had huge international success and is now being published in the UK. Julia Winn’s father disappears without a trace, the only clue to his whereabouts is a love letter written to a woman in Burma. The story, set in present-day New York and 1950s Burma, is what she discovers about her father and herself. March 2013 Debut of the Month. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Art of Hearing Heartbeats a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'a magical story of love, loss, superstition, perseverance and family obligation...I loved this novel and recommend it wholeheartedly' Scroll down to read more reviews.