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Part love story, part medical mystery, here is Martha Weinman Lear's wrenching follow-up to her bestselling memoir, Heartsounds
It begins late one afternoon in her kitchen. There is no collapse, no massive pain. Just a slight fluttering sensation in her chest, then chills, and finally, nausea. Probably nothing to worry about, the doctor assures her on the phone. It doesn't sound like a heart attack.
But it is. Heart attacks in women can look and feel dramatically different than they do in men, which is why they often go undiagnosed. But heart disease is the number-one killer of American women-greater than all forms of cancer combined.
When the doctor examines Lear the day after her episode, the verdict is shocking. So begins an account, filled with grace, humor, and ferocity, of her harrowing journey to recovery, beset by mysterious "complications." She finds herself in the same hospital-in the same coronary unit, being treated by the same cardiologist-where her late husband, Hal, was a staff doctor and then a patient before he died there. The past is inescapably present.
In Echoes of Heartsounds, Lear interweaves this medical drama with the story of her two loves, from meeting and marrying Hal to the anguish of losing him to the astonishment of finding herself in love again-"by now almost two decades widowed, recently ordained as a senior citizen, Medicare card in my pocket and heart on my sleeve, utterly besotted"-and on the threshold of a rich new life.