Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Story of Second Chances

What caught my eye when I picked up Andy Andrews’ The Heart Mender was the subtitle, “A Story of Second Chances.” The book’s background is a surprise—German submarines came right up to the Atlantic and Gulf Coast shores, and it was kept out of the media. It’s a tale woven around the main character finding personal items on a beach that were puzzling—buttons with anchors, a ring with German lettering, an anchor badge, a medal, and a few photographs. Andrews didn’t have to dig very far to weave together a story of a man who had to go to war and leave his family behind in Germany. The man, Josef, was shot at by an old enemy-turned Nazi on the deck of the submarine he was in and plunged into the Gulf. He surfaced on a beach in Alabama and was taken in by a young widow whose husband was killed by Germans. They’re unlikely friendship blossomed into love. But first they had to deal with Helen’s meanness, and Josef’s German background. And they have to discover the God of letting things go.

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