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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances

Thomas Nelson The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances

When wounded Lt. Josef Bartels Landermann slips off his German U-boat into the sea and washes ashore, war widow Helen Mason is tempted to leave him for dead. But an unusual faintly uttered phrase changes her mind---and her life. A powerful historical tale of forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing. Previously published as Island of Saints.
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Customer Reviews for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
Review 1 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderful for book clubs!

Date:August 5, 2011
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Barbara Bennett
Location:Florida
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This review was written by Deborah, a member of our book club, who does not use computers. It was such an excellent review, I encouraged her to let me share:
Wow! As soon as the shovel hit the metal, I was hooked. So many things to forgive in this book and not one person's tragedies can compare or be larger than another's. Helen and Josef's pain and confusion, even before they met each other; even Wan (love the name) in NOT getting Helen and his part in the triumph was tragic. But I think the story as a whole totally outshines the trials of the people involved.
After finding out this was true (husband helped me google), I was blown away. How can this happen in our Gulf?! Americans not knowing and such an easy target, and it continues almost a year! I think the biggest heart mending was the American people as a whole against the evil of Nazism. What a resiliant nation we are. I don't know if the quote on page 141 was actual, but the words are so true and so scary.
This book brought me to my knees for America. I wish it was required reading for high schoolers.
PS Danny was just in the story for a happy Light to continually shine.
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Review 2 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 21, 2010
While digging in his back yard, author Andy Andrews finds a rusty tin of Nazi German artifacts. After curiosity gets the best of him, he decides to do some research and find out more about it. The information that he uncovers is startling and becomes the background of this story.Helen lost her husband during WWII. She is lost and angry because of her tragic loss. Josef is a German U-boat officer that washed upon the bank of the gulf shores, who Helen finds nearly dead. Her feelings of hatred make her want to leave him to die, but something changes her mind. Those feelings of hatred develop into feelings of friendship, forgiveness, then healing and love.This is a beautifully written story told only the way that Andy Andrews can tell it. He delivers a very powerful message of forgiveness and what happens when we forgive. This is a story one should not miss and be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged. This is one story I will not soon forget. I highly recommend it!!!This book was provided by Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze Program for me to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 3 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:September 16, 2010
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Chandra Lynn
It is difficult to classify this book, but it is easy to call it excellent. Andy has done it again. He takes truth and mixes it with imagination and weaves them into a story that reads like a novel but feels like an autobiography. It is hard to describe the book without giving away some of the wonders of the story, and I'll not be guilty of writing a spoiler. This is a wonderful, heartwarming book. Read it, you will be pleased you did.
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Review 4 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 12, 2010
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Kelli
The Heart Mender takes place in the time of WWII. It follows the lives of to people, a young American woman, Helen, who has lost her husband due to the war and Josef, a man in the German/Nazi navy. After loosing her husband her aunt in Louisiana asked her to come ans live with her. But shortly after she moved her aunt died. Helen now works in a diner but is very angry. The owners of the diner try to help her work through the anger but mostly just love her where she is at. Josef is in the German navy, assigned to submarine in the Gulf of Mexico, but not devoted to Hitler ,he makes a powerful enemy on board the sub. Through circumstances he finds himself shot and lying on the beach in Louisiana dying when Helen discovers him. She, though she wants to leave him for dead, takes him in and provides him shelter. Both are battling demons from the past but through this unlikely meeting they learn more than they ever hoped for.This book talks of forgiveness and the healing it brings. You learn that this story is not only a wonderful example of how forgiveness can change your life but also all those around you and future generations.I was captivated by this from the first page. The author opens by telling readers how the story was developed and then he delves into the story. He does leave you wondering,until the end, who these people really are but all is explained in the end.I would highly recommend reading this book.
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Review 5 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 18, 2010
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Alyssa
The Heart Mender (A Story of Second Chances) by Andy Andrews is a very interesting book. It is based on real events and is written in three parts. The first and third part is first person and is basically non-fiction. The second and largest part, which in my opinion is the most fun, is written in third person as fiction but is derived from real life. Confused, yet :)? I was confused at first and wasnt sure if Id like it but it is actually quite a nice book! It is set during WWII and is an adventure/romance. But dont worryits not gushy. It involved German submarining in the beginning which I thought was neat. Forgiveness is the moral of the story. Helens husband was killed by the Germans and she hates them but when a German submariner washes up on shore near her home, she is his only hope. Life is too short to be lived bitterly. ~This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze.
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Review 6 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 4, 2010
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Doorkeeper
The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews is the latest book I have received for review through the blogger Review program. This is the second book I have read from Mr. Andrews and I have to say I love his writing. Everything in his books flows so seamlessly as he narrates the stories. This latest book tells a story of loss, anger, and ultimately forgiveness in the World War II era.In 1942, after her husband was killed in the war, Helen Mason finds a nearly-dead body on the shore. Seeing the German uniform, Helen is enraged and would leave the soldier to save himself, but is struck by a phrase and re-thinks her situation.I am not the normal romance reader, but the mending heart story that follows is one for the ages. The reconciliation and forgiveness that is made in the pages of this book will touch even the hardest of hearts. Once again, a true gem of a story.Its even hinted that some of the book could possibly be true. Like my parents always told me, truth is much more entertaining than fiction, right? But, regardless, I would invite you to get a copy of this book and enjoy the story I just finished.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Review 7 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 3, 2010
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Sonya Brown
I have just recently been given the chance to review books by Thomas Nelson Publishers. The first book sent to me was The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances by Andy Andrews. The writer of the book finds a can filled with German paraphernalia under a tree in his back yard. He then goes on to weave a story of bitterness, love, and forgiveness as he delves into the true story behind it all.He tells the story of a young woman named Helen Mason who is devastated by the loss of her husband in World War II. Bitter and angry, she detests Nazi Germany. Amidst her bitter anguish, Josef Launderman, Lt. of a German U-boat, washes to shore. He is wounded and bleeding, and his helpless situation prompts Helen to give him refuge, hiding his existence and whereabouts from the rest of the world. She is faced with many concerns, one of which, does this make her a trader to her own country?If you enjoy World War II history, then I recommend reading The Heart Mender. Not only is it filled with history of the War, but it also brings with it a story that is close to home, a story of love and forgiveness. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 8 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 23, 2010
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Karen Kimber
Imagine for a moment that you are digging in your garden, rooting out a dead tree, when you hit buried treasure. Well, maybe not quite treasure, but what you find is old and well preserved. Would you start to ask yourself some questions? Where does it come from? Why is it there? What is the story behind the items you have found? Author Andy Andrews did just that, and he couldnt rest until he found the story behind the items he discovered. The Heart Mender tells that story. This intriguing story of war and peace, of hatred and forgiveness, will keep you engorssed to the very end. Its compelling reading and I found it hard to put down. Truth and fiction are cleverly woven together to tell the story, and get the reader thinking. Set during the early part of WWII, the characters seem real, and face issues that we continue to face today. To forgive or not to forgive. What is the real purpose of forgiveness? To love or not to love. Is there a difference between being German and being a Nazi? This thought provoking book tells a great story, Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Review 9 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 13, 2010
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J. Kellar
This book was something different in historical fiction and I could not put it down. I was not aware of the German action in the Gulf of Mexico. LOVED EVERY WORD.
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Review 10 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:July 13, 2010
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Christy G
The story seems to be a true story of what Mr. Andrews has learned while researching WWII memorabilia he finds behind his home on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It leads him to write the story of a young widow, Helen Mason, who is struggling to forgive the world for taking her husband away. In the midst of her struggle she comes upon a German U-boat officer, Lt. Josef Landermann, on the brink of death, and she must learn to forgive as she nurses him back to health. The plot line was fascinating to me, especially after the introduction where Andrews says that for the most part the story is true. I enjoy American history, even more when it is stories that I did not hear in school. I could picture myself walking along the beach on the Florida/Alabama coast during WWII, and having a cup of coffee at the diner where Helen works. I could feel the bitterness and anger she carried around with her. And I could relate to how hard it was for her to let that go. But the story did get a little slow for me. The parts of the story where I would have liked to read more details about the characters were skimmed over, and other parts had too many war details. It was not a book that I had a hard time putting down at night. But I did want to finish to find out how it ended. And the ending did not disappoint me. I do recommend this book if you enjoy American History, WWII history, stories of love, forgiveness and adventure. I was given this book by booksneeze for free to review. I was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 11 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 3, 2010
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Sara Cart
The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances by Andy Andrews is a story of chance meetings between two seemingly enemies. These two lost souls are forced together by WWII to face their demons and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt them. After time the two learn to forgive, but an innocent can will not let them forget.This novel is written in a novel way! Andy Andrews/ takes his story and breaks it into three parts. At first this was confusing, but at the end of the novel I understood why he wrote it the way he did. This novel was also an extremely quick read. The story was well written and Andy Andrews does an amazing job of placing himself in the novel and wrapping it all up with a nice ribbon. The only thing that I can criticise about this novel is I'm not sure if I just read a fiction or non-fiction piece. It was an interesting story and the history was great too. I can highly recommend this novel not just to the ladies who like a good love story, but to the men to.
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Review 12 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 2, 2010
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April Carroll
This story is a true story that reveals what the US government wanted to keep quiet during WWII: that U-boats were lurking off the Gulf Coast and even interacting with Americans. It took the first 100 pages for me to really grasp the story-line and then I was spell-bound. What made it more fascinating was that the story is true. It's a combination of drama, intrigue and romance. Note: Although published as a 'Christian novel' - I didn't see any overt Christianity save a passing mention of the Bible and God. There was one profanity and several uses of the Lord's name in vain - that was disappointing to me. I was sent a copy of this book for review by BookSneeze - I was not obligated to give a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 13 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 28, 2010
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Anupama kalangi
This is an inspiring story of forgiveness.It is a simple tale of two people who choose to forgive and let go off their past and change their destiny.Based on the true life story of a German sailor and a war-widowed American woman during the second world war,when the German U-boats were attacking the American ships in American waters,this is a capturing plot illustrating the power of forgiveness.The book has an interesting story and an underlying virtue, beautifully woven along the story line and kept me thinking as I read along.The conversation between Billy and Danny as Billy explains how to forgive is particularly enlightening.I totally agree with Andy when he says we begin to forgive by choosing to forgive...by deciding not by feeling. I think its a wise choice to decide to forgive rather than rot in the bitter water of unforgiveness and anger.Let go off the hurt and the pain and the person who caused it and you do more good to yourself than the person forgiven.The biblical principle of forgiveness is emphasised in the book in a simple yet thought provoking manner.Andy Andrews narration with all the facts,pictures and dramatic emotions is simply wonderful and I loved the book.Finding it hard to forgive somebody in your life...this book is a must read for you!!Seventy times seven and keep going...
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Review 14 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:June 27, 2010
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Karuna B
Life is such, that one needs some heart mending from time to time, thats what led me to choose this book.A true story set in history, during the World War. A story of forgiveness. How can one forgive when one meets face to face with the one who hurt you? Its a story of a war-widowed American woman and an almost dead German soldier washed ashore. Their paths cross and their lies the story of the Heart Mender. The woman must choose whether she would save the life of this enemy soldier or let him die.We all get hurt and sometimes our hearts carry the pain throughout our lives even if we don't want it to. This story is about the deeper hurts, those that are not easy to wipe away or that don't heal easy. If thats something you're dealing with, you might want to read this book.
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Review 15 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 27, 2010
The Heart Mender, by Andy Andrews, is actually a true story, though the names have been changed. Helen Mason is living in Alabama after her only living relative has passed away. Angry at anyone and anything because her husband has been killed during World War II, a German U-boat officer is the last person Helen would think of changing her life for the better. Josef Landermann has been shot and left for dead in the Gulf, yet he makes it to the beach and safety, but what should also be enemy territory for him.I was immediately drawn in to this story as the mystery unfolds of what it was like to live during WWII. The emotion is very real, as is the answer. Forgiveness. I liked this book quite a lot, though as I have learned, Thomas Nelson allows curse words to be used, even though I do not approve of that in a book that is marketed in the Christian section. One use of a curse word appears, and though understandable in the situation described, could have been left out. Many books are able to refer to cursing, but without the actual use of the word and get the point across.http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=078523103X&title=The_Heart_Mender&author=Andy_Andrews
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Review 16 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 24, 2010
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Jennifer M
The Heart Mender's inception was purely an accident. Author Andy Andrews stumbled upon a buried treasure next to his home on the Gulf Coast: an old, metal can containing Nazi artifacts from World War II. In his research and his quest to discover their origins, he ended up unearthing an amazing and touching story.This book shares with us his discovery, then takes us back to 1942 to bring it all to life. Helen is a young American widow who lost her husband to World War II. Josef is a German sailor, wounded and left for dead on the beach. Still broken and grieving over the loss of her husband, and bitterly angry about the role the Nazis played in his death, she is at first tempted to leave the young sailor alone to die. She ultimately decides to come to his aid, and the story that follows is one of intrigue, heartbreak and forgiveness.I'm not normally attracted to historical fiction, but this one won me over. I truly loved this book. The characters were so likable and relatable that they could have been friends of mine. The dialogue was crisp, real, and funny. The suspenseful pacing was excellent, revealing just enough at a time to make you keep reading, and it made it impossible to put the book down. The central theme of forgiveness was woven throughout the entire story, and it was illustrated in a powerful way. An added bonus? Some truly fascinating history about World War II that I'd never heard anywhere else.If you're a fan of historical fiction, like to be inspired, or just love a really great story... read it. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 17 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 24, 2010
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Debbie
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free...and discover the prisoner is YOU."What would you do if your enemy washed up on shore wounded? Would you reach out and come to his rescue? Would you leave him for dead? The Heart Mender is a touching story of a bitter young American woman whose husband was killed by the Nazis during WWII. When a German soldier washes up on shore she must make a decision: forgive or allow the soldier to die.Forgiveness has been a concept that I keep coming back to in my life...a theme, I guess you would say. The struggle to forgive may be the biggest battle we ever face. That is why I was drawn to this book...what would it say about forgiveness? Would forgiveness overcome the hurt and bitterness? The Heart Mender is NOT to be missed. I read the book in 24 hours...that is how engrossed I was in the plot. Andy has a way of weaving a story...grabbing you and not letting go until the last word is written.Do you struggle to forgive? Do you know someone who is struggling to forgive? Don't miss out on this story!
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Review 18 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 23, 2010
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Jen Wikstrom
I loved this book. I was given this book to review and I couldnt put it down. I am going out to buy some of his other books. This book is an emotional ride, and Andy Andrews writes so that you feel what the people in the book are feeling. He makes you search your own self. I highly reccomend this book. I fell in love with the people in the story and found myself fighting for them. I would say, this is a cant put down kind of book, so once you decide to read it make sure you dont have anything else to do because you wont be getting to it thats for sure.
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Review 19 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 17, 2010
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Jill
The first book I received is The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews. It was an easy read that I really enjoyed. The author discovered some German World War II artifacts he uncovered under a tree at his Alabama home and set out to learn more about them. He learned that during the war, German U-boats were sent to the Gulf of Mexico to sink American ships carrying oil and other supplies. With my interest in history and WWII, this is something that I have never seen a documentary on or a show on the History Channel. Andrews includes pictures of the items that he found and one of the found items is a picture that includes Adolf Hitler. Can you imagine if you discovered that in your yard?Andrews goes on to tell the story of a German U-boat officer who washes ashore in Alabama and the young widow, Helen, who helps him survive. Since the death of her husband in the war, Helen has become a bitter person who is unable to forgive. When confronted by the wounded, German sailor Helen has to decide if she is going to hold on to her anger or finally let it go and have a second chance of love and happiness. For disclosure, I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers.
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Review 20 for The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
This review is fromThe Heart Mender.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 17, 2010
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Annie Kate
In 1942 a distraught war widow, wandering the beaches because she cannot sleep, happens upon a wounded sailor. The widow, Helen, instinctively helps him until she notices his uniformthe wrong uniform. How Josef got there, and what happened to him and Helen make a riveting story. After pondering for days, Im still not sure what I think of this book. On the one hand, its an absorbing tale of fascinating people who learn about forgiveness. The Heart Mender approaches this vital topic from many angles without being preachy. In fact, I read the book with my heart thumping and could not put it down. On the other hand, although the main story is satisfying, Im disturbed by the authors tale of how he came upon the information he used. Of course its impossible to determine where fact ends and fiction starts, but I cant help asking, Why share something so private? Helping the world by modelling forgiveness is truly important. I wonder, though, if it couldnt have been done without disturbing the main characters, who ended up moving to a different state if they are, indeed, real. The story presents forgiving as something one canand mustdo, but it doesnt explicitly point to God who enables us to forgive. If a non-Christian reads this book, he will not understand.The Heart Mender is a gripping book. Im considering joining a book club and if I do, this will likely be my contribution. Id love to discuss it with others. Disclosure: As a BookSneeze reviewer, I received The Heart Mender for free from Thomas Nelson.
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