The Heart Mender
By: Andy Andrews
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction (?)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Helen was hurting. Bitter might be a better way to describe it. She had lost everything and had grown angry . . . at everyone. The only people that she let in (and only a very little) were the couple who owned the diner where she worked, their Down syndrome son, and the local sheriff of their small town . . . who also happened to be madly in love with her.
She lived alone in a beach house she inherited on the Gulf of Mexico. The world was at war, but Helen didn’t care. The war had stolen her young husband from her. She succumbed to what she assumed would be her ultimate fate–a life of misery and isolation. Until one day, Helen came face to face with her greatest enemy . . . a German soldier. Josef, a U-boat officer, washed ashore early one morning, barely alive. What happened next would change their lives forever.
The Heart Mender has been coined the book of second chances. It is a tale of forgiveness and healing as told in a way only Andrews can. A New York Times best-selling author, Andrews is the author of such books as The Traveler’s Gift and The Noticer. In this book, originally titled Island of Saints, Andrews draws the reader in by placing himself right in the midst. The story of Helen and Josef is framed by a conversation Andrews has with a couple who are all too familiar with the Second World War. His readers are left asking, “Is this for real?”
From the very beginning, I read with the book in one hand and my smartphone in the other. Endeavoring to discover if this was a work of fiction or fact, I beat a virtual pathway on my favorite search engine. I don’t know if I ever came to solid conclusion (biography or novel?), but I did learn a lot of new things about World War II—which will come in handy during our homeschool studies this year.
I could not put this book down! Gripped by its fascinating story, I kept turning pages! Just one more page turned into just one more chapter, until finally I came to the end. I love the way Andrews writes! He has a unique style not seen by any other author I have previously read. I highly recommend this book (as well as The Noticer), and I myself look forward to reading more of his books and sharing them with others!
*Image courtesy of Google search.