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Synopsis

A man’s life and his capacity for love mysteriously changes after a heart transplant in this dramatic and affecting novel—as provocative and poignant as the works of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes, and Alice Sebold—from the acclaimed Orange Prize nominee and author of Lucky Bunny.

After years of excessive drink and sex, Patrick’s heart has collapsed. Only fifty, he has been given six months to live. But a tragic accident involving a teenager and a motorcycle gives the university professor a second chance. He receives the boy’s heart in a transplant, and by this miracle of science, two strangers are forever linked.

Though Patrick’s body accepts his new heart, his old life seems to reject him. Bored by the things that once enticed him, he begins to look for meaning in his experience. Discovering that his donor was a local boy named Drew Beamish, he becomes intensely curious about Drew’s life and the influences that shaped him-from the eighteenth-century ancestor involved in a labor riot to the bleak beauty of the Cambridgeshire countryside in which he was raised. Patrick longs to know the story of this heart that is now his own.

In this intriguing and deeply absorbing story, Jill Dawson weaves together the lives and loves of three vibrant characters connected by fate to explore questions of life after death, the nature of the soul, the unseen forces that connect us, and the symbolic power of the heart.

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