The Heart Mender, by Andy Andrews

book coverWhile digging up a withering wax myrtle tree beside his waterfront home on the Gulf Coast, author Andy Andrews unearths a rusted metal container filled with Nazi artifacts and begins an intriguing investigation that unlocks an unspoken past that took place in his backyard… literally.

This is the premise of Andy Andrew’s latest published work, an interesting mix of fact and fiction. Even though it’s the story of a German man and an American woman during World War II, the overriding topic Andrews presents is that of Forgiveness. Helen Mason’s husband was killed in England during the Blitz. Now she’s found an injured German submariner on an Alabama beach. What would she do? What would you do?

I put off reading this book because, really, I didn’t think I’d like it. I don’t like non-fiction books that are overly ‘preachy,’ and that was my concern here. That was a mistake. I picked it up yesterday, and finished it this morning with tears in my eyes. It’s a remarkably straightforward read, and does read more like fiction. Even the beginning and ending – set in the current day and involving the author – sounds like a novel. I was tempted to do my own research at the end just to verify some of the historical facts.

Andrews wants us to know about forgiveness but, to be honest, it’s not an overriding subject within the plot. Yes, Helen is filled with pain over her husband’s death and doesn’t like the Germans because of it. That wasn’t an uncommon feeling among those who endured World War II. In time, we’ve come to realize that many Germans did not share the hatred of their maniacal Fuhrer. Instead, this is a story of a man escaping his circumstances and being able to start over.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Pages: 256

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Disclaimer: I received this book free from publishers Thomas Nelson, as part of their Booksneeze review program. I was not required to, or coerced into, writing a positive review. My opinions on this book are all my own.

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