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Summary

Michael Steeb is an aimless 21-year-old pot farmer in Central California in the 1980s. He has no real plans or interests...until the day he connects with memories of a life that seems to belong to someone else. That "spirit" is Walter, a young American soldier killed in World War II.

Michael's task is the near-impossible: to lead Walter's family to closure and peace, to deliver the real truth behind Walter's Purple Heart, and to somehow achieve the forgiveness absent for so many years so Walter can move on. Michael sets out to find Walter's best friend, Andrew, and Mary Ann, the fiancée Walter left behind. Mary Ann recognizes Walter in Michael immediately. But Andrew sets out to prove that Michael is the worst sort of con man.

Narrated in large part by Walter from beyond the grave, Walter's Purple Heart is a fast-paced war drama and a deeply felt romance, with a unique twist on the prospect of multiple lives. Catherine Ryan Hyde paints an enduring portrait of a life prematurely lost, and the endless ripples of consequence to those who loved him, in a microcosm that sheds light on the true gravity of war.

©2002 Catherine Ryan Hyde (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Heartwarming...Hyde has a sure touch with affairs of the heart." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Walter's Purple Heart

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  • Shearyan60
  • 22-02-21

Slow moving, but good story.

Although I have always enjoyed this author's books, this was the first time I found that a narrator's performance dragged the story down. This narrator spoke sooo slowly, that he made the characters sound like dim-witted, monotonous stoners. One of the characters actually was a stoner, but this narration style continued with other characters and throughout the story. I actually found myself wanting the story to end. But KRH's writing was still the same, consistent high quality. I will continue to read other books of hers, but not with this narrator.

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  • wendy
  • 18-04-19

Another great book

Even if you don't believe in the philosophy.. The story is meaningful to life.. Loved it

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  • Frances
  • 18-01-19

I almost gave up

This was hard to keep going for several chapters. But I really loved Hyde's other books. I am glad I did. It turned out to be wonderful.

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  • JBRIGHTSHADOWS93
  • 13-01-19

Fantastic tale of reincarnation and love.

Wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. The reader nailed the story, perfect performance. The story was casual and gripping. Absolutely loved it.

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  • Marianne Campbell
  • 07-09-17

Interesting concept

Have to admit it took me three different "starts" to get into this book. Could be I wasn't really paying attention. But once I "got it" I was enthralled. An enjoyable albeit different listen.

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  • Raphael J. Murphy
  • 07-07-17

not her best

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

no slow did not grab me as her other books

Did Walter's Purple Heart inspire you to do anything?

yes stop listening and get another book

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  • Barbara
  • 19-04-17

Love this subject matter!

I loved this book and how the author dealt with the topic. Thanks for writing it.