Most people know that I do not enjoy reading “tearjerkers.” I avoid romance novels (and math books) for this very reason. Emotionally manipulative books should die a slow death on dusty shelves next to used tissues. When I saw the cover of this book, I rolled my eyes and thought “Oh there’s another one of those.” But it wasn’t one of “those.” Look beyond the cover. This book has teeth.
Forgiven by Terri Roberts did make me cry. On almost every page. However, I was not crying from manipulation, I was crying because of the beauty that grew from this tragedy. The author of Forgiven is the mother of a man who shot little girls in an Amish school house. She leads the reader through a storm of horror, loss, and forgiveness. The Amish community effected by Charlie Roberts chose to forgive. Of course, it was a difficult choice to make. To most of us it was a surprise. This community did not just say, “Okay, I forgive you” and walk away. They protected and provided for the killer’s family. This absolution healed Pennsylvania families and carried an incredible message to other victims of violence around the world. That is real forgiveness. We all need a lesson in what real forgiveness is and the healing power that it brings.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.