Book Notes: So Many Beats of the Heart by Carrie Cox
About So Many Beats of the Heart
After moving across the country to an “alien city of her husband’s choosing”, Evie Shine is blindsided when he leaves her. As a marriage counsellor in her professional life, Evie wonders why she didn’t see this coming.
Left dealing with the aftermath, including the impact on her two children, Evie is unsure how to move forward. She eventually fumbles her way towards a new normal, largely thanks to new friends, Ronnie—a larger-than-life café owner and hairdresser—and James—Bunnings employee, wheelchair user and sailor.
Told with wit and humour, So Many Beats of the Heart is not only the story of a marriage breakdown but also one of finding your way back to yourself.
About Carrie Cox
Carrie Cox is a Perth-based author, journalist, mum and timid surfer, although she has also lived in Mackay, Sydney and Brisbane. Carrie’s syndicated column, ‘Carrie On’ was published in six newspapers over ten years. She has also written two non-fiction books Coal, Crisis, Challenge and You Take the High Road and I’ll Take the Bus (2005), and two novels, Afternoons with Harvey Beam (2018) and So Many Beats of the Heart (2022).
1. Who was your favourite character? Why?
2. Which character/s did you relate most to? Why? Is this the same or different to your favourite character?
3. What are the different ways Carrie and her two children react and deal with the marriage break down?
4. What does Evie learn about herself and her relationships over the time-frame of the novel?
5. What is the effect of including the stories of Evie’s clients?
6. What is the impact of sailing on the lives of James, Evie and Angus?
7. How does the character of James challenge and inform Evie’s understanding of disabled people, especially wheelchair users?
8. One reviewer has commented that So Many Beats of the Heart is “not a book that delves into despair—it’s uplifting with plenty of banter and wit”. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this comment? Why?
9. How has Evie changed or grown between the opening and closing pages of the novel?
10. What insights into “mid-life” does Evie perceive and/or observe?
11. What does So Many Beats of the Heart have to say about the idea of home and belonging?
12. Where is home to you?
If you enjoyed So Many Beats of the Heart, then you might also like …
- Afternoons with Harvey Beam by Carrie Cox (Fremantle Press, 2018)
- The Last Chance Café by Liz Byrski (Pan MacMillan, 2011)
- The Last Bookshop by Emma Young (Fremantle Press, 2021)
If you would like to find out more about Carrie Cox and her writing, you can read my interview with her here on my blog.