Sweet Forgiveness

Sweet Forgiveness

A Novel

Paperback - 2015
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"Hannah Farr is a popular daytime television host with a charismatic boyfriend. She has much to be thankful for--except for a past she'd do anything to forget. Just as a rival station comes calling, Hannah's ratings take a dangerous dip ... One person Hannah can't ask for advice is her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken since her high school graduation. Only one woman seems to have the answer: Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones--a concept that's sweeping the nation--[who's] urging everyone to forgive and to seek forgiveness" -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Plume, 2015.
ISBN: 9780147516763
0147516765
Characteristics: 355 pages ; 21 cm

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thohneke Dec 02, 2015

I liked this book because it made me think about the concept of forgiveness. Read this book if you have any forgiving (to give or to receive) to think about in your life. I give away a little bit of the story, but not too much in the rest of this review. If you want to read this story without foreknowledge, stop reading this review now! I thought that her choice of "living with ambiguity" (that's a line from the book) regarding what had happened to her as a young teen was misguided. There are probably some things, many things in life for which it is OK to live with ambiguity, but not what she experienced, especially after what she had just learned from her stepsister. Doing so, however, was the choice of this fictional character. The character's choice wasn't a simple one; it didn't feel "right" to me as a reader, and it wasn't what I wanted for her. However, real people do the same thing to themselves everyday. Perhaps that's why the author had Hannah's character do so, to show that these kinds of choices are messy and hard and to make Hannah's character more like a real person rather than a predictable character. Sure, I would have loved it if Hannah had redeemed herself by convincing her stepsister to come forward to tell her truth and by sharing the evidence she had unlocked (I'm thankful she didn't throw the evidence into the lake, because then there remained an opportunity for the truth to be learned by others in the future). The author doesn't have to give us characters we like or always approve of. I'm glad that the author gave us a character to make us think, because real life decisions don't come in tidy packages. In making the choice to "live with ambiguity" Hannah was wrestling with whether to protect herself or protect others. In this case, she chose to protect others, especially her mother, because she had caused so much hurt before. She also wanted to give a man she deeply cared about a chance to forgive his father. With her choice, she felt it was better to take herself down (she'd already hit bottom in other ways) than to cause any more pain to others.
If I were in a book club or if I had a chance to speak with the author, I would ask why Hannah never informs her superiors or revealed to her audience that her conniving coworker, Claudia, fabricated her "forgiveness stones" story. I guess that is an ambiguity I will have to live with!

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