Random Acts Of Heroic Love

Written by Danny Scheinmann
Review by Sara Wilson

In 1992, Leo Deakin awakens in a hospital in South America to the shocking news of the death of his girl friend, Eleni. Although he doesn’t remember any details of the accident that killed Eleni, Leo is tortured with guilt. In 1917, Moritz Daniecki, captured on the Russian front and sent to a Siberian POW camp, escapes and begins the 500km trek home to find the woman whose memory has sustained him through the horror and deprivation of war. These two men draw their inner strength from their memories of love. This is ultimately their reason for hope and their salvation.

Throughout the book the two stories are told in parallel, seemingly unconnected until the final chapters draw them together, and the links are finally revealed.

In simple terms, this is a triumphant story concerning the power of love. It is by turns dramatic and powerful, romantic and tender. On the face of it, Daniecki’s story would seem to be the more powerful and compelling, but by the end, Leo’s search for understanding becomes equally dominant and moving.

As the layers of the different stories unfold, the lives and hearts of the two men are laid bare, and by the end, the reader is likely to be emotionally wrung out. This makes a novel well worth the effort and one destined to stay in the mind for a long, long time after the final page is turned.