“The Heart Mender”—Book review

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

     “Even when those who have mistreated us, abused us, cheated us, or oppressed us…my God, Billy, even when they die, our anger and resentment do not have the decency to do the same!
     Our hurt continues to live.”

     “Until we forgive.” Billy nodded.
“I see it. There is no such thing as managing one’s anger. It simply can’t be done.
     The only answer is to forgive…and get rid of it forever.”
p 158

At heart, Andy Andrews is a storyteller.

I know he’s a motivational speaker and was once a stand-up comedian, but I have a hunch he’d rather get his message to us through story than any other way.

“Yes, I think your story will help. Who benefits when we come to understand and harness the power of forgiveness? Children, marriages, careers, nations…the list goes on and on.” p 235

The Heart Mender (originally published as Island of Saints) is his polite way to tell us: Forgive! Forgive others, forgive God, forgive circumstances.

He doesn’t preach it; he just weaves it in and out of his characters. This novel mixes a semi-fictional story set in 1942 near Andrew’s current home in Orange Beach, Alabama, with historical facts about German U-boats patrolling the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Did you know that during 1942 and 1943 over 20 German submarines in the Gulf eventually sank 56 American vessels?

Because I didn’t know that actually happened (or forgot it if I did), I looked up the Crew List site Andrews suggests in his “Where Are They Now?” section of the book. And was inspired to do a little googling of my own to find out more.

Andrews also includes a Reader’s Guide to prompt group discussions on symbolic imagery, the nature of decisions, on the notion that “No Man Is an Island,” war, and forgiveness.

My thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending this book to review. When I saw it available by Andy Andrews, I knew it would be a great read. I’m glad I was right.

Also by Andy Andrews: The Noticer

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