The Heart Broke in

By James Meek
(Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374168711, 401pp.)

Publication Date: October 2, 2012

List Price: $28.00*
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From James Meek, the award-winning author of the international bestseller "The People's Act of Love," comes a rich and intricate novel about everything that matters to us now: children, celebrity, secrets and shame, the quest for youth, loyalty and betrayal, falls from grace, acts of terror, and the wonderful, terrible inescapability of family.

Ritchie Shepherd, an aging pop star and a producer of a reality show for teen talent, is starting to trip over his own lies. Maybe filming a documentary about his father, Captain Shepherd, a British soldier executed by Northern Irish guerrillas, will redeem him.

His sister, Bec, is getting closer and closer to a vaccine for malaria. When she's not in Tanzania harvesting field samples, she's peering through a microscope at her own blood to chart the risky treatment she's testing on herself. She's as addicted to honesty as Ritchie is to trickery.

Val Oatman is the editor of a powerful tabloid newspaper. The self-appointed conscience of the nation, scourge of hypocrites and cheats, he believes he will marry beautiful Bec.

Alex Comrie, a gene therapist (and formerly the drummer in Ritchie's band), is battling his mortally ill uncle, a brilliant and domineering scientist, over whether Alex might actually have discovered a cure for aging. Alex, too, believes he will marry Bec.

Colum O'Donabhain has just been released from prison, having served a twenty-five-year sentence for putting a gun to Captain Shepherd's head when he refused to give up an informer. He now writes poetry.

Their stories meet and tangle in this bighearted epic that is also shrewd, starkly funny, and utterly of the moment. "The Heart Broke In "is fiction with the reverberating resonance of truth.

About the Author
JAMES MEEK is the author of four novels, including The People s Act of Love, which won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the SAC Book of the Year Award, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His novel We Are Now Beginning Our Descent won the Prince Maurice Prize. Meek worked as a reporter in Russia and Ukraine in the 1990s, and later his reporting from Iraq and about Guant?namo Bay won a number of international awards. He now lives in London.
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