Evie Shine is adrift. After two decades of marriage, her husband has left her. Possibly for another woman. He isn’t saying. That Evie has spent her career dissecting relationships and mending broken hearts doesn’t help at all – it just makes everything worse. How did she not see this coming? And what’s she meant to do now?
Her own worst client, Evie ignores all useful advice and chooses platitudes, wine and hangovers over the prospect of moving on. But soon she realises that the beauty of having the rug ripped from under you is getting to see exactly what’s underneath.
So Many Beats of the Heart is about how the crushing weight of time can take its toll on long-term relationships. It’s about love lost, friendships found, losing your bearings and finding a way back to shore.
Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:
What a beautiful effortless read! I loved this book and recommend it to all women of all ages. The author Carrie Cox has an intuition about relationships that she translates into Evie’s revelations about the couples she has counselled in her previous job before moving from Perth to Queensland. Every woman will find a character they can relate to, either as themselves or someone (male or female) that they know. My favourite was Ronni; funny, irreverent but so knowledgeable about affairs of the heart. As Evie moves through the full raft of emotions coming to terms with the end of her own marriage and dealing with her two children’s coping mechanisms, we see her grow as an individual to become the person who finally allows herself to love herself and what she values in life. Mary, WA, 5 Stars
Once I worked out the flow of the book, some chapters on patients etc I actually enjoyed the read. I love Ronni, everyone needs a Ronni in their life. A very relatable story. I rate it highly. Rachael, NSW, 5 Stars
A beautiful (and often funny) story of how one woman found herself after a marriage breakdown. Through the stages of grief, and dodging the minefields that is dating and sex after marriage, Evie finds true friendship, a deeper connection with her children, and a true understanding of herself. A great coming of (midlife) age story. Ammie, NSW, 5 Stars
What a wonderful read, totally lovely and un put downable! Warm, fresh, whole-hearted, and very very funny. A beautifully refreshing story allowing the reader an escape from reality! Caren, SA, 5 Stars
So Many Beats of the Heart is a heartfelt story of the bumpy road we follow as we navigate relationships and marriage. Evie is devastated enough about her marriage failure but when you council people on their relationships for a job you start to question everything about your life. A warm and honest story of mid life cross roads, the lows of a marriage breakdown and the road to recovery. So Many Beats of the Heart is filled with relatable characters making difficult decisions and Carrie Cox exposes the complexity of relationships. Funny, engaging and genuine. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Veronica, NSW, 5 Stars
I absolutely loved reading this book and I could not put it down. I was able to relate to the main character, Evie on so many levels and in so many ways. Her voice felt true to me, it felt genuinely believable. After Evie’s husband leaves her, for reasons she cannot comprehend, she is working through her feelings and her new life. Evie puts caring for her teenage son, before her own grief for her lost marriage. What she doesn’t realise, is that as she travels through her emotions, keeping it all together for her son, she is opening up her world to new experiences in life. I really enjoyed the segments of the story where Evie remembers her various clients (she is a couples’ therapist). These parts were interestingly told and engaging as they allowed her to explore what seems to work in a marriage, and what does not. This was an enjoyable read. Thank you to @betterreading for sending me this copy to preview. Alison, VIC, 5 Stars
Evie is a marriage counsellor who ironically never predicted her own marriage would fall apart when her husband suddenly leaves her. Newly single at the age of 49, Evie struggles to combat loneliness, given she has only recently moved from Perth to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. There is also the added complication of her teenage son’s reaction to his father’s abandonment, causing her to worry about his mental health, considering he’s at such a vulnerable age. As Evie tries to make sense of her current situation, she thinks back and makes comparisons to some of her counselling sessions and these are peppered throughout the book. As a reader, they give you a lot to think about and introduce many more themes into the plot, however, I’m not sure they will do too much to promote the institute of marriage! Evie was intelligent, calm and sweet and I couldn’t help but hope she found her happy ending. Other standout characters were her crazy loud but very entertaining friend, Ronni, and her charming next door neighbour, James. Cox has written a book which is thought-provoking, poignant and contemporary without having to resort to anything gimmicky. I enjoyed it immensely. Lee-ann, QLD, 5 Stars
I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. I was drawn into Evie Shine’s life right from the cauliflower incident to the very satisfying and utterly right conclusion. No fairy-tale ending, just a woman of a certain age truly living her best life. The writing is wise, funny, insightful and compassionate. This is like listening to a very best friend talking about real life. You will swing between empathising with Evie’s grief as a wife whose husband has gone to “find himself”, her worry about her children – her quiet, undemonstrative son and her daughter who is too much like her father, to gasping at the clarity of Evie’s assessment of other marriages in trouble, to hilarity with her gorgeous, boisterous friend, Ronni. This is a story for anyone who wants a clear-eyed view of relationships, leavened with humour and humanity. Rosie, NSW, 5 Stars
So Many Beats of the Heart shines a light on the many different feelings and emotions that are brought up as we age through marriage, friendships, love and finding ourselves again after our children have grown up. The main character Evie, is at a crossroads in her life as her husband has left her for another woman not long after they have moved states and as she is a relationship therapist she is devastated that she didn’t see it coming. As a reader I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters being broken up by past experiences she had with couples at her practice and how that shaped her views on her marriage and current new relationships. Warm, funny and relatable, Carrie Cox’ novel is a worthy read for all women. Alida, QLD, 4 Stars
Evie is a character most people can relate to when a relationship ends – being half of a whole person. But what do you do when the other half (the other person) no longer wants to be part of your whole? This is a story about how you deal with a break up and how you start to put your life back together, piece by piece, slowing becoming the person you once were or you have wanted to be. It’s an inspirational story that shows why it’s important to always stay true to yourself and definitely find yourself again. Kerrie, NSW, 4 Stars
Evie Shine is a therapist who helps couples with marriage problems. Ironically, she doesn’t detect any problems in her own and is blindsided when her husband leaves. She now needs to navigate life as a single parent and decide what she really wants. Remembering past clients and making new friends helps Evie navigate the sometimes funny but often times sad new life. Christina, NSW, 4 Stars
On first reading this seems like a straightforward contemporary fiction of a wife coping with her husband leaving and not contacting her or her children for a length of time. We follow her as she and her teenage children struggle through the abandonment. Evie is a marriage counsellor, but she is broadsided with husband Hamish’s departure. Interspersed between the chapters are her reminisces of couples she has counselled over the years. This adds extra interest. There is a new love interest- James with an acquired spinal injury. There is a hint that this romance continues after the book ends but it is not a tied up ending. Her relationship with Hamish is left hanging, but you feel it unlikely that she will go back to him. Recommended as an easy-to-read book. Sue, WA, 4 Stars
A lovely heartfelt story of everyday ups and downs of life and marriage. Nice light read, Aussie based, relatable. Well written. Kate, QLD, 4 Stars
Evie and Hamish moved from Perth to Queensland a year ago with their son Angus, leaving their 20 year old daughter, Sera, attending university in Perth. The move was for Hamish to take the work opportunity of a lifetime. Not long after they have settled, Hamish informs Evie he needs space and leaves her. She has had little contact with him since and is in a state of uncertainty, unsure what her future holds, marriage or separation, a future life in Queensland or return to her old life in Perth. Evie reflects on her marriage by sharing stories of the couples she has counselled in the past as a relationship therapist. Each couple’s story adds a touch of clarity to Evie’s own marriage problems and allows her to reflect on her own advice, which helps her move on. When Sera’s 21st birthday approaches, Evie has to face Hamish for the first time since he walked out and decide what her future will hold, it’s time for her to make some choices. The stories shared of couples experiencing troubles in their relationships are relatable and the decisions they have to make, to stay together or not, are heartbreaking. The story is about real people, the reality of actions and decisions in relationships, hurt, grief, the power of friendships and moving on. A beautifully written heartfelt novel. Priscilla, ACT, 4 Stars
What a pleasure it was to ‘meet’ Evie and evolve with her. Making sense of a major calamity in life while still trying to function as a responsible adult and parent was totally relatable. So many questions and ‘what-ifs? ‘! A testament to the importance of being truly seen to be able to recalibrate and move forward. Lina, VIC, 4 Stars