Author(s): Sebastian Faulks
The new bestseller from the author of Birdsong and A Week in December.
"You don't live the life I have without making some enemies."
Having accepted a strange but intriguing invitation to a French island, psychiatrist Robert Hendricks meets the man who has commissioned him to write a biography. But his subject seems more interested in finding out about Robert's past than he does in revealing his own. For years, Robert has refused to discuss his past. After the war ended, he refused to go to reunions, believing in some way that denying the killing and the deaths of his friends and fellow soldiers would mean he wouldn't be defined by the experience. Suddenly, he can't keep the memories from overtaking him. But can he trust his memories and can we believe what other people tell us about theirs?
Moving between the present and past, between France and Italy, New York and London, this is a powerful story about love and war, memory and desire, the relationship between the body and the mind.
Compelling and full of suspense, Where My Heart Used to Beat is a tender, brutal and thoughtful portrait of a man and a century, which asks whether, given the carnage we've witnessed and inflicted over the past one hundred years, people can ever be the same.
A haunting tale of war, love and loss from the author of Birdsong and A Week in December
"A masterpiece...a terrific novel, humming with ideas, knowing asides, shafts of sunlight, shouts of laughter and moments of almost unbearable tragedy" -- Toby Clements Sunday Telegraph "Compelling...profoundly moving" -- Leyla Sanai The Independent on Sunday "A pleasure from start to finish...WHERE MY HEART USED TO BEAT is that rare book, a page-turning read that also has a significant intellectual and emotional charge." -- Alexander Larman Sunday Express "There is everything here: love, loss, death, war, history, memory, ideas, travel, friendship, rivalry, chance - and sex. It comes in an immaculately crafted package that continues an ingenious dual-timeline with plot twists that serve the reader with the exact impression of what it might be to live the life of the novel's gimlet-eyed and engaging narrator, Dr Robert Hendricks" Sunday Telegraph "Combining as it does the cultural narrative of a complex century forsaken by God and certainty, a serious investigation into the vulnerability of the human mind and an old-fashioned - in the best sense - story of love and war, this is an ambitious, demanding and profoundly melancholy book" Guardian "a powerful and moving novel" Daily Express "This is not a wartime tragic romance, or a simple story of trauma. It is much more affecting than that." -- Rosemary Goring Herald "An intelligent and moving examination of the traumas of war. Faulks is as accomplished as ever" Scotsman, Books of the Year "It's a melancholy tale of war, love and loss that will leave you gulping back sobs" Observer, Books 2015 in Review "Faulks gets better and better with every book. This is surely one of the year's best novels." -- John Harding Daily Mail
Sebastian Faulks comes from a family of lawyers. His father was a judge and his brother, Edward, is a barrister who became a minister in the Ministry of Justice under the coalition.After reading English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Faulks set out to write, first for small magazines, then for newspapers, on the staff of which he worked as reporter, editor and columnist for 13 years. He has since written several bestselling works of fiction including Charlotte Gray, Engleby and Human Traces - as well as the Sunday Times number one bestseller A Week in December. He is a member of the Authors XI cricket team and the Boffins CC, and plays tennis in the West Middlesex league for his local club, Campden Hill. He has recently been working on the First World War centenary commemorations as part of the Government Advisory Group and read from his novel Birdsong in Westminster Abbey on the centenary of the outbreak of war in August 2014.