Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

By now I should know if I see "New York Times Best Seller" as the big draw card for a book that the book is not likely to be of interest to me, but this was a local  book club selection and one I'd not read.  It's also one sappy sentimental tale, that most of the women loved, but one I could have done without. Paperback, published 2010 and first in 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc, 239 pages and a Reader's Guide.  The author claims it is a true story with perhaps some embellishment.  It was a very fast read for me, started out better but kept going on and on; as I said, sappy....one of these books overloaded with sentimentality and pages upon pages about forgiveness..triteness that has been written every where before..just what some women like to read, but not me.  I thought I might learn a bit about WWII and the German submarines off the Atlantic coast and the Gulf Shores of  potential interest to me because of the disappearance of my father and his B-24 plane and crew in June 1944 and speculation to this day about a German U boat sinking it.  So there was a bit of history.  We have traveled to this area, set primarily in Foley, Alabama and those gulf shores so I was familiar with the setting.  Still, I  will be passing this book along.  Apparently this is a well liked author, but then so are many who specialize in the quick reading low information style.

It is the tale of  the people, Helen a bereft young WWII widow who moves to Alabama to care for her aunt, her only relative, Helen is a case study of hard luck; other characters,  Billy and Margaret Gilbert who own the local cafe and  hire Helen after  her aunt passes, of their son, Davey autistic or developmentally disabled, the local constable Wan and Josef Newman, the  German sailor whom Helen finds on the beach.  According to the author, this book was his greatest career disappointment  and his favorite.  It was first a manuscript, "Island of Saints"  and "through issues of bad timing, ..little previous success and zero publicity the book was quickly forgotten."   I give it a 2 or 3 **---*** although the book club members liked it.  I prefer more depth in reading so it just might be suitable for those interested in a quick non absorbing read.