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Publisher's Summary

A unique blend of historical fact and engaging fiction showing the power of forgiveness.

In 1942, German subs are dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to sink U.S. vessels carrying goods and fuel. While taking a late-night walk, Helen Mason - widowed by war - discovers the near-lifeless body of a German sailor. Enraged at the site of Josef Landermann's uniform, Helen is prepared to leave him to die when an unusual phrase, faintly uttered, changes her mind.

In The Heart Mender, a small town must prepare itself for the worst the world has to offer, and Josef and Helen must reconcile their pasts to create a future. Previously released as Island of Saints, this new edition includes a reader's guide and a "Where Are They Now?" update on the real-life characters.

©2010 Thomas Nelson, Inc. (P)2010 Thomas Nelson, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a great story!

I read this book years ago when it was named "Island of Saints". I enjoyed it then and bought several copies to give as gifts. I downloaded it on Audible this time and was delighted that Andy Andrews, himself, was the reader. I loved it even more and realized I had actually forgotten so much from my previous reading. The book is wholesome and dear and makes me long for a simpler time in our history. The plot is interesting and the characters were great and full of personality. I will continue to buy this book as gifts. We all need to understand the principle of forgiveness and this book teaches it in a practical non-preachy manner.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly Gripping

Once into this book I couldn't get it out of my head.... I'd wake in the middle of the night to listen to it. It's hard to imagine that this is actually a true story but strangely comforting that there are those that went through so much that I, one day would be humbled by their story...
Thank you Andy for brining it to life so eloquently !!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing book

Absolutely loved this book. it's extremely well written. It reads like a fictional story but is true.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Andy Does it again!

I always find myself completely engulfed in Andy's stories. Truthfully it is hard to believe that this is a true story, but if it's coming from Andy, then I'm a believer!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best book I've ever listened to TWICE

The story is so detailed it will feel as though you are living it. Several chapters brought me to tears it was so well told and so moving.
I'll listen to this again & again.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 06-05-13

Forgiveness is the Theme. . .and That's No Mystery

This is a relatively short book, thankfully. I found myself liking, then disliking it; mostly because the "mystery" was so transparent that there really was no mystery. The characters and events were so ordinary, predictable and scripted! Still I kept listening, just to find out how the adventure concluded.

Part of me wanted to believe that this is really a true account of a true story. The setting is WWII in the Gulf Coast area of Orange Beach, which was then a sparsely populated beach front community of fishermen and laborers. History records that there were German submarines in the Gulf, causing mayhem with US shipping via the Merchant Marines. But could a German submariner who is injured leave his sub and survive a harrowing swim through the shark-infested waters of the Gulf and end up on the beach, where he is found by a woman grieving the loss of her husband to the Nazi war machine?

If the story is true, it is an amazing wartime tale. That part I liked. What began to get prickly was the way the author pounded away at definitions and acts of forgiveness. . .over and over again. Every character in the book presented at least one long soliloquy on the topic, to the point of redundancy.

Three stars. . .that's the best I can do. It's not a bad book, just not a great one.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great historical story

I really enjoyed this story. I had never heard this part of history before. The narration was very good. Best book I ever read? No. But it held my interest the whole time.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Couldn’t stop listening.

This was a perfect listen on a hot Independence Day where I didn’t want to leave the air conditioning. Beautiful story, I found myself lost in the 40s on the coast of Alabama. Recommend for a wide range of listeners, just a great story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AB
  • 07-03-18

Surprisingly wonderful

When I first started listening I was tempted to quit but I am very glad I didn’t. This is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever listened to. The narrator (also the author) did a wonderful job with the accents and made the characters seem alive and visual. I recommend this book to all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Recommending this book to family members!

I enjoyed this book. I am always wary when the author is the narrator but was pleasantly surprised and don’t this work could have been narrated by anyone else.

Being from Louisiana and having visited the Orange Beach area several times, I felt an affinity to the characterizations and the location.

The underlying message, that by other authors might have lapsed into sappy or maudlin prose, was perfectly delivered with humor and good southern manners.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful