The Heart Broke In

  • by James Meek
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Would you betray your lover to give them what they wanted? Bec Shepherd is a malaria researcher struggling to lead a good life. Ritchie, her reprobate brother, is a rock star turned TV producer. When Bec refuses an offer of marriage from a powerful newspaper editor and Ritchie's indiscretions catch up with him, brother and sister are forced to choose between loyalty and betrayal.
The Heart Broke In is an old-fashioned story of modern times, a rich, ambitious family drama of love, death and money in the era of gene therapy and internet blackmail.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Smart and original

It is very hard to describe this book. Initially it is a tale of a high achieving brother and sister who get along despite an undercurrent of sibling rivalry. Richie is a cheating hedonist who is about to be found out whereas Becks is an almost saintly medical researcher looking for a cure for malaria. Both characters are intensely real and it is impossible to completely like or dislike either of them. The catalyst occurs when Becks breaks her engagement to Val, a high powered newspaper editor and he unleashes a very effective revenge strategy that has far reaching consequences for Becks, her family and even their acquaintances.
Just like life, this book has its annoying moments and some sections are a tad overlong. I also regretted the absence of the very charismatic Val in much of the book, although his actions are plainly evident. Just like life, I can only look back fondly on this remarkable and original story. There are some parts of this book where I would have given a 6 or 7 marking if I could so I think a Straight 5 is a fair assessment of its overall impact.
I wonder if James Meek could be encouraged to write another book about Val? It would be wonderful if he did.
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- Kaggy


It takes a little while until the story picks up speed but you’ll be highly rewarded. It is a very complex story inhabited by very complex characters that Mr.Meek had brought to life in such a brilliant way. They all seem so real and interact in a way which is very realistic but planted into unusual circumstances. I actually started to live with them, and really worry about them - which has never happend before and was quite a unique experience . I loved the book in it’s abundance of life as it is tragic and funny at the same time as well as mirroring the English culture in morals and politics in the 21st century.
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- Martina

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-08-2012
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd