Idea/Concept: In Cor Perfectum, Jewa Lea sets out, with skill and ambition, to help readers stave off heart disease by illuminating the many roles that the heart plays in our health, including ancient spiritual roles and others not taken seriously by medical professionals. The author lays out a vision of heart health that unites the scientific and the spiritual, the practical and the divine.
Prose: Lea writes crisp, clear, authoritative prose. Her explanations of the scientific and medical facts that take up the book's first third are cogent and coherent. and she covers her topics with enthusiasm. Her prose is likewise strong when covering the spiritual aspects of her conception of heart health. She occasionally offers an anecdote from her own life in disarmingly breezy language. Still, in the book's first third especially, the author tends not to offer readers clear guidance as to why she's expounding at length on the specific topics that she covers, such as the cardiovascular process or the difference between "suction" and "pulsation."
Originality: Cor Perfectum is unique, full of up-to-date research and fleshed out with the author's own insights.
Execution: While its prose is strong, its examples and explanations clear, and its tone authoritative, Lea's book often risks losing readers' confidence or patience. It's not until page 49 that the author explains exactly why readers need to get through all of this introductory material about the heart's physical, emotional, and "energetical" roles. In the introductory material, the author notes the overwhelming number of Google results that one gets when searching for the term "heart"; this observation invites readers to wonder, unfairly or not, about the depths of the author's research. Between sections in the text the author includes epigrammatic quotes from the likes of Mark Twain and Richard Bach; she also quotes herself in this fashion, which may suggest to an uncharitable reader either an outsize self-regard or a lack of professionalism.The inclusion of quizzes is curious, but the author's figures and chapter summaries are well chosen. Impressively, the author proves as adept discussing chakras and the "sacred geometry" of the heart as she is describing the heart's function as a "vortex decelerator/accelerator" and as a generator of electromagnetic pulses. Also strong are her relatable anecdotes about her own experience.
Date Submitted: January 12, 2020