Hearts and Sole concerns In the Balance, a store whose Sole Owner sits in judgement of his customers. The novel centres on the fate of a number of characters who have reason to enter the store where their behaviours become the subject of the Sole Owners scrutiny. What is the novel really about? Derek would say thats for you to decide. Make of it what you will but, importantly, enjoy. Oh and ask yourself, if you entered In the Balance, what the Sole Owner would make of you! For Derek, Hearts and Sole provides threads for another day.