Several years ago, I won a copy of The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews as a blog giveaway (and it’s been so long ago, I can’t even remember which blog…) I put it on my bookcase to be read someday and as it turns out, someday was this week. I picked it up on Tuesday afternoon and finished it at 12:30 am on Wednesday!
The story (based upon actual events and people) straddles two time lines: the first, our current time, when the author finds a mysterious container buried in the sand by his house. The second, 1942 (World War II). After doing some research on the items in the container, a mystery begins to unfold that involves Nazis and U-Boats on the Gulf Coast of Alabama during WWII.
I was surprised to learn that during the war, German U-Boats (submarines) were sinking American ships in American waters and that cargo and bodies were actually washing up on our beaches, but the media (under the President’s orders) didn’t report it! Being the skeptic that I am, I had to research and sure enough – the facts are there for those who want to search them out. (Including recent underwater footage of the wreckage of the U-166 submarine featured in The Heart Mender.)
I don’t want to give too much information on the actual story line, because it is so unexpected that you really need to read it for yourself. The author weaves a wonderful story that leaves you contemplating love, forgiveness, the consequences of war, and how the older generation lived in completely different times (but also how they have an awful lot to teach us, if we’ll only listen.) Needless to say, I LOVED THIS BOOK, couldn’t put it down, and had to tell my husband all about it when he said he didn’t have time to read it immediately himself. It’s one of those stories that I’ll be ruminating on for a while.