Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nazis, Secret Identities, and Forgiveness


 The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

Part true story, part fiction, all fascinating! Andy Andrews, the author, is digging up a tree stump in his yard on the Gulf coast when he discovers buttons and two pictures in a metal container.  He researches the buttons and finds out they were from a Nazi uniform, but what are they doing here in the States?  Who did they belong to?  He discovers that there were German subs in our waters during World War 2, news that was not broadcast to the American people then, though people who lived by the ocean on the East coast would see them from time to time.  I had never heard this either, though my uncle had, so I found it incredibly interesting.  He finds people who lived there then and interviews them for insight into what was going on.  Did you know that Germans even came on land and went to the movies?! 

The story then shifts to the owner of these items and how he washed up on shore, shot, with little hope of survival in an enemy land. The woman who finds him, widowed during this war and bitterly angry, wants to kill him once she realizes where he's from, but she can't do it.  What follows is an amazing story about the lengths she goes to save him and the power of the forgiveness they both experience.

I really enjoyed this book for its history, the captivating story Andy tells, and how forgiveness had such an impact on these two lives.  I learned a lot about German subs in American waters and what was going on in that part of the country.  I liked how Andy would shift back and forth between what he was finding out in the present and this couple's story back in the 40s.  I even recommended this book to my brother, mom, and dad, who all read it and liked it and my dad doesn't read very many books.  He even bought it so he could borrow it to others! It was a fast, easy read and I highly recommend it to everyone!

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