FORGIVENESS by Annette Stanwick

FORGIVENESS

The Mystery and Miracle
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Christian self-help guide to forgiveness.

On March 1, 1999, Stanwick, a successful hospital administrator and motivational speaker from Calgary, received the devastating news that her younger brother, Soren, had been murdered in the cab of his tractor trailer. A long-distance trucker from Idaho and father of two, Soren was a month from retirement the night he was shot to death near Richmond, Va. At first overcome by disbelief, rage and grief, Stanwick soon realized she needed to move beyond her emotional paralysis. One restless night not long after burying her brother, as Stanwick tried to conceive of the type of person capable of such a cold-blooded act, a voice spoke to her: “Annette, I love your brother’s murderer. I love your brother’s murderer as much as I love you, and as much as I love your brother Soren.” Stanwick says she knew “without a shadow of a doubt that it was the voice of God.” From that moment on, her attitude toward her brother’s killer began to turn from bitterness to compassion to such a degree that, by the time the killer was apprehended and Stanwick was called upon to make a Victim’s Impact Statement at his sentencing, she stood before the judge who would sentence him to life in prison and said she forgave him. Stanwick then decided to take the healing lesson she’d painfully learned to others, particularly inmates serving life terms with no chance for parole; the results of such outreach were so positive that she elected to record her spiritual journey in the present volume, which, alongside her account, includes practical questions for personal exploration and prayers addressing difficult issues associated with such loss. Stanwick’s tale offers rare insight into personal nature and devastating effects of capital crimes, but her advice on the centrality of forgiveness in healing from acts of violence is so couched in Christian rhetoric that it’s not for everybody.

Still, a trenchant account of one woman’s spiritual reckoning with her brother’s killer.

ISBN: 978-0-9783545-0-3
Page count: 240pp
Program: Kirkus Indie
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