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Publisher's Summary

"Cathleen McCarron's lilting intonation and Scottish accent beautifully capture the quiet optimism of this heartfelt novel, set in Edinburgh." (AudioFile Magazine)

For fans of Josie Silver's One Day in December, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is a wholly original, charismatic, and uplifting novel that no listener will soon forget.

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live. She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that - just in time - saved her life. Now, finally, she can be a normal 28-year-old. She can climb a mountain. Dance. Wait in line all day for tickets to Wimbledon.

But first, she has to put one foot in front of the other. So far, things are as bloody complicated as ever. Her relationship with her mother is at a breaking point, and she wants to find her father. Then, there's Lennox, whom Ailsa loved and lost. Will she ever find love again?

Her new heart is a bold heart. She just needs to learn to listen to it. From the hospital to her childhood home, on social media and IRL, Ailsa will embark on a journey about what it means to be, and feel, alive. How do we learn to be brave, to accept defeat, to dare to dream?

From Stephanie Butland, author of The Lost for Words Bookshop, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae will warm you from the inside out.

©2019 Stephanie Butland (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is an enchanting story of a girl whose entire life has been dictated by her medical condition. When she receives a second chance in the form of a new heart, she realizes that, for the first time, she has a future. And now she has to figure out what to do with it. Stephanie Butland has crafted a charming story of second chances, love, loss, and truly growing up in which Ailsa learns that you can’t just blog and dance your way through life - although both certainly make it sweeter. A must read for anyone who has ever been faced with a new beginning and all the joy and heartache that entails. Five huge stars for the delightful Ailsa Ray!" (Kristy Woodson Harvey, national best-selling author of Dear Carolina and Slightly South of Simple)

What listeners say about The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • OV
  • 01-12-21

A light mostly fun read

This is a very light read. It has some nice moments, but it lacks depth. Overall, it is a good read if you need some uplifting.

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Blue heart, new heart

I enjoyed this book. My first audible book in a long time. I enjoyed walking through the streets of Edinburgh with Ailsa as she recovered from her heart transplant. Her new heart gave her a lot to think about as she had her whole life in front of her. She examined all her relationships and even began new ones. The juxtaposition of her life and the blog she communicates through was an interesting way to write this book.

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A new lease on life

Take one completely engaging lead character (Ailsa), add a life-threatening condition, a sparkling cast of characters with issues of their own, and tango – well that’s a recipe for a novel that made me happy I’m a reader.

Ailsa was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and has managed to stay alive until the age of twenty-eight when a compatible heart becomes available. She thought the journey to that day was hard. And it was. But she learns that living with her new heart has a new set of challenges, not the least being brave enough to put herself out there in this new life.

The story is told through the blog she set up related to her condition, emails and texts with various people, and the story of past relationships. I hesitate to expand but I can say I’m very glad to have had the chance to read Stephanie Butland’s second novel. It’s an emotional story and one that left me with a happy heart.