The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable

Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt. Viking/Dorman, $20 (208p) ISBN 978-1-984878-25-0
In this affecting survey, Schwarzenegger Pratt (I Just Graduated… Now What?) explores forgiveness through 22 interviews with people who have experienced tragedy or suffered loss. Interview subjects include parents of children killed in the Columbine and Sandy Hook shootings; kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart; Tanya Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson; and the wife of Chester Bennington, a rock musician who killed himself in 2017. Schwarzenegger Pratt weaves her own personal experiences and reflections throughout and shares lessons from each person’s story, such as practicing self-love, the power of using prayer, and the importance of releasing the burden of guilt or shame and respecting the process of grief. Schwarzenegger Pratt emphasizes that forgiveness happens one step a time: “Forgiveness starts with a choice, and then it becomes a process.” Most of the stories involve the subject’s deep yearning to be free of painful thoughts and emotions, and their movement toward forgiveness often requires honestly looking into memories and past choices. Schwarzenegger Pratt concludes with a helpful list of resources, including organizations and projects dedicated to spreading awareness about the power of forgiveness. Those looking for help with letting go and moving on will love this. (Mar.)

Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the author's last name and also the number of interviews included in the book.

Reviewed on : 02/06/2020
Release date: 03/10/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-984878-26-7
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