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About the book
  • Published: 18 July 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099549246
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $26.00

Where My Heart Used to Beat

A haunting tale of war, love and loss from the author of Birdsong and A Week in December

A haunting tale of war, love and loss from the author of Birdsong and A Week in December
The Sunday Times bestseller

On a small island off the south coast of France, Robert Hendricks – an English doctor who has seen the best and the worst the twentieth century had to offer – is forced to confront the events that made up his life. His host is Alexander Pereira, a man who seems to know more about his guest than Hendricks himself does.

The search for the past takes us through the war in Italy in 1944, a passionate love that seems to hold out hope, the great days of idealistic work in the 1960s and finally – unforgettably – back into the trenches of the Western Front.

This moving novel casts a long, baleful light over the century we have left behind but may never fully understand. Daring, ambitious and in the end profoundly moving, this is Faulks’s most remarkable book yet.

  • Pub date: 18 July 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099549246
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $26.00

About the Author

Sebastian Faulks

Sebastian Faulks was born in April 1953. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1991, he worked as a journalist. Sebastian Faulks’s books include A Possible Life, Human Traces, On Green Dolphin Street, Engleby, Birdsong, A Week in December and Where My Heart Used to Beat.

Also by Sebastian Faulks

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Praise for Where My Heart Used to Beat

“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”


“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

“Faulks writes in the grand tradition of realist fiction…Fans of Faulks — and they are legion — will find a great deal to admire and ponder and sorrow at within these pages. Its aspirations are sincere and noble”


“An elegant, thoughtful novel”

Sunday Mirror

“One of his most haunting novels”

Mail on Sunday

“What makes this such an engaging, enjoyable book to read is the depth of the ideas that Faulks explores… As usual, Faulks’ historical research creates a wholly compelling world. Every detail, from glum 1980s New York to the chaos of wartime Belgium, feels fresh and convincing and the characterisation is impeccable”

Sunday Express

“a deeply affecting portrait”


“It could well be Faulks' magnum opus”

Gavin Haines, World Travel Guide

“expect a passionate story of love lost, delivered by a master storyteller”

Good Housekeeping

“Deeply philosophical…full of real heart”

Heat Magazine

“You’re instantly hooked. There’s a touch of Graham Greene here. The story takes off beautifully.”

William Leith, Evening Standard

“Faulks, always good, describes the transaction between shrink and sex worker and you’re hooked. A touch of Graham Greene here.”


“Daring, ambitious and in the end profoundly moving, this is Faulk’s most remarkable book yet.”


“Compelling...profoundly moving”

Leyla Sanai, The Independent on Sunday

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