Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Heart Mender: A Review

Published in obscurity years ago, Andy Andrews' retitled The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances is definitely a worthwhile read, especially for anyone with an interest in the WWII era.

Although not my typical book selection, choosing Andrews' text to review was a conscious decision to try something lighter and less brain-bending. Instead, the pages left my brain so abuzz with curiosity that I found myself sucked into googling other historical information to confirm Andrews' text. In the end, I could only scratch my head: "Why was this left out of my high school history books!?"

Framing a fictional recreation of actual events is Andrews' account of digging up old WWII paraphernalia hidden by a German U-boat soldier in his own backyard and his subsequent search for truth concerning those items. The fictional story sandwiched in the middle is the result of what he discovered about the man and women who buried those items--a story of danger, intrigue, personal loss, and (most of all) forgiveness.

While I don't want to give away the plot, the historical description of German submarines in American waters (and their soldiers on American soil) during the war was definitely a different angle from which to view WWII. Also, the "Where Are They Now?" section at the end of the book is a worthwhile addition to the initial publication.

While Andrews' writing style is clean and easy to follow, if I have one criticism, it's that he seemed to dwell too much in the sections concerning forgiveness. I realize demonstrating the overwhelming power of forgiveness is the point of his book. However, there's making a point and then there's dragging out a point, leaving the reader to sigh, "just get on with it." Even still, this is definitely a book I will share with the military men and women in my family.

*I receive nothing for this review other than a complementary copy of the book.


  1. Share! Share! Sounds like something your brother would like :)

  2. It's coming up with the parents. I had already stuck it in their stash. Pass it along when you're done.