Have you ever wondered about the connection between our physical, beating heart and the passionate, loving heart that motivates our lives? What is the effect on our physical heart each time we redirect the focus of our passion? Cardiologist Dr. Paul C. Ho addresses these and other related questions in Art on the Human Heart which is his novel based on real-life events.
The first chapter of Art on the Human Heart begins with Dr. Paul, as Dr. Ho is most often called, growing in his awareness that he himself is not only a cardiac patient, but is also being brought back to life with a defibrillator. As a thirty-nine-year-old cardiologist in the prime of his career, he is unnerved by this as well as mentally supervising, criticizing and questioning all that is happening to him. Although this scene is chronologically the middle of the story, it is a brief and wonderful introduction to the voice of Dr. Paul: who he is, how he thinks and what kind of presence he discloses to the world.
Dr. Paul’s storyline follows him from his early childhood experiences of creative, free play in Hong Kong to immigration to America. Each person in his family responds in a different manner to the new environment. He eventually determines that if he is going to be successful, he must apply himself fully to everything he does. He becomes an engineer, and then goes on to medical school to become a cardiologist. Along the way, he meets a wonderful woman who teaches him much about love, relaxation and freedom of the heart. His career pursuit interferes with their relationship too.
There are many small side stories within the larger timeline of Dr. Paul’s life. Each flows organically from one step to the next and the next one after that. Dr. Paul puzzles out his motivation, his passion and his direction in life. He sees the overall orientation of his life and ultimately elects which passion he will follow.
Reading the book is a pleasant experience. The story holds together well and progresses fluidly from chapter to chapter. Since it is written from Dr. Paul’s point of view, most of the other characters in the story are neither multidimensional nor complex which is the only drawback of the novel. Art on the Human Heart addresses a number of questions regarding passion and life directions and choices in a well-written tale.
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