Bullied in middle school, abandoned by her mother, and betrayed by her fiance, Hannah Farr has little interest in exposing her emotional vulnerabilities.
But the new fad of Forgiveness Stones, the brainchild of poet and attorney Fiona Knowles, is impossible to escape. The concept is simple: send two stones to someone you’ve wronged. When they return a stone to you, you have been forgiven. When they send the remaining stone (with its new partner stone) on to a new person, the Circle of Forgiveness expands. Hannah wants nothing to do with the Forgiveness Stones. Her goal is security. Hannah’s scrambled to the top of Louisiana’s ladder for local television anchors, leaping from weekend anchor to evening news to host of her own show. But everything is jeopardized now that young, beautiful, conniving Claudia Campbell is jockeying for Hannah’s job; now that her new boyfriend, mayor Michael Payne, has not only not proposed marriage, but actually encouraged her to seek a job 900 miles away in Chicago; now that Fiona has sent Hannah a velvet pouch of her own Forgiveness Stones, begging absolution for having bullied Hannah in middle school; now that even Dorothy, her best friend (and the mother of her ex-fiance), has embraced Fiona’s scam. Hannah may scoff at the Circle of Forgiveness, but she's willing to use the fad to further her own career. Setting up an on-air Forgiveness Circle among Fiona, herself, and Dorothy (or maybe her own mother) seems like a great idea, but making amends with the past may prove costly. With quirky characters, Spielman (The Life List, 2013) spins an effervescent tale in which betrayals fizzle out into human weaknesses and grudges dissolve into mercy.
Bright prose, a plucky heroine, and more than a few plot twists make for a delightful read.