Meant to Be
The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He Is His Mother's Deepest Secret
By Walter Anderson
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060099077, 243pp.)
Publication Date: September 2004
List Price: $14.99*
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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.
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.
“A marvelous book ... Only a man truly at peace with himself could write with such rigorous honesty ...beautifully written.”
“I stayed up all night reading ... A great story beautifully told by a great story-teller.”
“One courageous man’s pursuit of the American dream.”
“Disarming. In his journey from pint-size pool shark to Parade magazine editor, there are many milestones. A–”
“As the CEO of Parade Publications, Walter Anderson knows how to tell a good story. Deeply felt…”
-Readers Digest (Editor’s Choice/Featured Selection)
“An engaging, inspiring book.”
“Rais[es] interesting questions about what it means to be Jewish.”
-Jewish Book World