Recommended by: Emma Almond - Special Sales Executive
“Forgiveness has the power to change the narrative, move the story along, and turn the page when nothing else can. When the original perpetrators are long dead, or when satisfactory justice is no longer possible, then forgiveness, mercy and pardoning may be the only strategy we have to help us reconcile with our past pain and prevent old wounds and historical resentments from festering down the generations.”
It’s always seemed so strange to me that we use one word in an attempt to define such a complicated concept as forgiveness. How can we boil so much down to the same thing, when it encompasses so many varied scenarios and emotions? Perhaps because of this, my interest was immediately caught by this book. I was intrigued to learn more about how and why we come to forgive, and Marina Cantacuzino’s exploration of the term in all its diversity did not disappoint. Forgiveness is all at once entertaining, enlightening, and hopeful.
In recounting conversations over two decades, Marina expertly weaves us through the stories she’s learned from people around the world who have encountered, and often battled with, forgiveness. Tying together these captivating accounts with sharp insight, she examines how we find forgiveness, and the ways it can become an empowering form of release and control. From self-forgiveness to a collective societal forgiveness, a feud amongst friends to forgiving the murderer of your child, Marina provides truly necessary nuance to the conversation of forgiving and its place in the world today.
I do appreciate that the book looks only to explore forgiveness, rather than to preach it. As well as investigating where forgiveness has benefitted the individual, it also sheds a necessary light on many who forgive before they’re ready, or where it’s dangerous to do so. In the right conditions however, forgiveness ultimately can act as powerful tool which paves the way to finding acceptance and peace.
Forgiveness is such a force for good, and every chapter felt more important than the last. Brimming with empathy and experience, this was a fascinating read!