Meant To Be: The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He Is His Mother's Deepest Secret

Meant To Be: The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He Is His Mother's Deepest Secret

by Walter Anderson

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Overview

Published to strong reviews and major media attention, this heartfelt and inspirational rags-to-riches memoir by the highly regarded CEO of Parade Publications tells the emotional story of how he came to terms with an identity and a family that he never knew he had until he reached middle age.

Meant To Be begins when Anderson, a 21-year-old Marine returns from service to say goodbye to his dying father and tries to find the answer to a question that has inexplicably haunted him from his earliest years: Was the alcoholic, abusive man who has so tormented him in his childhood his real father? Shockingly, the answer turns out to be "No." Unbeknown to him, at least until that point, his mother, a German Protestant, fell in love during World War II with a Russian Jew and bore his child. Anderson learns this information as a young man but he and his mother keep this secret for another 35 years, until the day Anderson—now an unusually successful publishing executive—meets an unknown brother who, it turns out, has lived a nearly parallel life. Meant To Be is a love story, a journey of self-discovery and spirituality, and a provocative challenge to common notions about the role of heredity in our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061865589
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 971,845
File size: 361 KB

About the Author

Walter Anderson has been editor of Parade since June 1980. He is a member of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences, and he serves on the boards of Literacy Volunteers of America, the National Center for Family Literacy, the National Dropout Prevention Fund, Very Special Arts, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and PBS.

He received a 1994 Hortio Alger Award, for which he was nominated by the late Norman Vincent Peale, and the Jewish National Fund's Tree of Life Award, which he received from Elie Wiesel. He lives in White Plains, New York, with his wife Loretta. They have two children.

What People are Saying About This

Bill Bradley

“A marvelous book ... Only a man truly at peace with himself could write with such rigorous honesty ...beautifully written.”

Edward Klein

“I stayed up all night reading ... A great story beautifully told by a great story-teller.”

Reading Group Guide

This true story begins when Anderson, a 21-year-old Marine sergeant recently returned from Vietnam, stuns his mother with the question that has inexplicably haunted him from his earliest years: Was the alcoholic, abusive father who had so tormented him in his childhood his real father? Her truthful answer: Walter was born of a war-time love affair between his German protestant mother and the Russian Jewish man she loved. He keeps their secret for nearly 35 years -- until the day he meets an unknown brother -- another son of his real father -- who has lived a similar, nearly parallel life.

Meant to Be is a love story, a journey of self-discovery and spirituality, and a provocative challenge to common notions about the role of heredity in our lives.

Topics for Discussion

  1. Walter Anderson attributes his drive and eventual career success to his mastery over his childhood difficulties. Is there a correlation between ambition and overcoming hardship?
  2. Walter confronts his mother about a secret she has kept for so many years. Are children entitled to know their parents' pasts?
  3. Walter finds out that he is the biological son of a Jew. What are Walter's responsibilities to the faith of his father?
  4. Walter lived with the secret of his parentage for years. How does living with a secret affect intimate relationships?

About the Author:
Walter Anderson is chairman and CEO of Parade Publications and an Advisory Board member of Literacy Volunteers of America and National Center for Family Literacy. A high school dropout, he is a national spokesperson for GED and director of the National Dropout Prevention Fund. Additionally, he is a member of the board of advisors of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and the National Council on Economic Education. Anderson is also the creator of a series of filmed discussions with prominent Americans called, "It's About Time" and was the 1994 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award.

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Meant to Be: The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He Is His Mother's Deepest Secret 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Ashtonlovesbooks More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book by chance at the local library, and I am sure glad I did. This memoir about Walter Anderson, a fellow who had a traumatic childhood, and questioned the man who raised him to be his biological father. An intelligent young boy who skips the eighth grade to the tenth grade, has an undeniable love for writing. After living with his abusive father he swears to himself as a fourteen year old boy that he will get away. He does get away when he joins the marines at the tender age of seventeen. This book is a must read, an inspirational true story of life, love, family, secrets, success, and spirituality.