We love to read at our house. We each have our favorite books and style of writing. When The Heart Mender arrived, I opened it and laid it on the table. My husband came home, picked it up and said, “I don’t really think this is my kind of book.” Truth was, I didn’t really think it was MY type of book either.
In 1942, German subs are dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to sink U.S. vessels carrying goods and fuel. While taking a late-night walk, Helen Mason—widowed by war—discovers the near-lifeless body of a German sailor. Enraged at the site of Josef Landermann’s uniform, Helen is prepared to leave him to die when an unusual phrase, faintly uttered, changes her mind.
In The Heart Mender, a small town must prepare itself for the worst the world has to offer, and Josef and Helen must reconcile their pasts to create a future.
I found myself returning to this book throughout the day to capture the story. I wanted to know the history behind the artifacts. I was caught up in the interviews of the people in the small town from World War 2. I found myself asking my grandma about her recollections from the time period in this book and pondering over why US History and World History had failed to mention the U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico during the war.
It’s a love story, a book about the Gulf Coast (particularly Alabama), and a World War 2 book.
As I finished the last page, I said, again, to my husband, “You would really enjoy this book.”
The Heart Mender had me pausing to think about my own course of action if I were to have been the one to find a German Soldier on the beach of my country–His country was responsible for my Newlywed husband’s death and had left me bitter. Would I leave him there to die? Would I take him home? Would I risk my own life to care for him?
Every page of The Heart Mender engages you in the story of Helen and Josef as they confront their own personal trials during a period of history when forgiveness seemed impossible new beginnings seemed lost.
This book is the perfect choice for a book club with the Reader’s Guide at the end–I even found the guide to be a great resource to help finalize the reality that the book had ended for me.
You can catch a glimpse of the beauty of this book by watching the trailer or visiting The Heart Mender Website or learn more about the author, Andy Andrews.
The Heart Mender is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s definitely worth checking out. I’m certain you’ll be adding it to your Top List.