Andy Andrews' The Heart Mender is an inspiring story about the power not just of love, but of forgiveness, community and faith. Intertwined with the love story of an American woman and a German soldier during World War II (and with the stories of their friends and neighbors) is a bit of the author's own story, as he uncovers the clues that lead him to discover the romance.
Andrews is a skilled storyteller, and weaves dialogue and description to create vivid and believable characters. The issues with which the characters struggle are real, and the answers to which they come are hard-won - but throughout the book is a firm and unyielding hope and confidence that love will, in the end, triumph. From beginning to end, the storylines illustrate the truth that bitterness and resentment do nothing but continue to wound, while making the choice to forgive can do everything towards bringing healing and hope to a broken heart.
One of the things I most appreciated about this story is that while it is a love story, it doesn't happen in isolation. It blossoms in the context of a community, and affects - and is affected by - that community. I love that. It makes the entire book feel even more true - because in real life, relationships do inevitably happen in the context of community.
I absolutely loved this story. I have actually read it twice now, and already loaned it to a friend. So I am happy to say that Thomas Nelson actually sent me an extra copy to give away on my blog! :) If you're intrigued and would like to read it, please let me know by commenting below. Your names will be entered in a drawing, which will take place a week from Saturday.
Disclosure in agreement with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising": I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.