Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Forgive Me

Forgive Me by Susan Lewis
1/26/21; 416 pages

Forgive Me by Susan Lewis is a highly recommended domestic drama that ultimately examines the power of forgiveness.

Claudia Winters along with her daughter Jasmine are escaping her abusive husband Marcus after he is on trial and begins serving a prison sentence. Her mother Marcy joins the two as all three move to a small coastal town in Northern England and live under their new names. Claudia lives under a constant fear that her husband will send someone to find her and harm her and her family. As the three begin to settle into their new town and make a good group of friends, Claudia still feels apprehensive that she is being watched. And then someone horrible does happen...

Archie Colbrook is in prison awaiting trial and spends his time writing letters to the victim of his crime for his Restorative Justice Counselor. He knows he is guilty and doesn't deserve forgiveness, but he also knows he didn't intentionally set out to cause a person harm. Even when the victim chooses to read his letters, he doesn't expect any forgiveness or a meeting.

These two different story lines unfold in alternate chapters and ultimately the two plots come together and showcase the power of forgiveness, even when it doesn't seem possible. The message is a good one, but the plot is a little less than believable. Setting that aside, it is an enjoyable novel and does provide insight into the Restorative Justice program. It also has an undercurrent of the support and love that can be found within a family and among a close group of friends. It starts out feeling like a thriller, but that is deceptive as it is decidedly a family/domestic drama, however a novel with a theme of forgiveness is always a positive thing.

Some characters are more realistic, believable, and likeable than others. That will quickly be determined and sorted out by the reader. The recovery of one of the characters is definitely heart-wrenching and you will pursue this plot thread closely and wish for a good outcome. The ending is predictable, but ultimately this is a feel-good novel with drama thrown in to keep you engrossed in the story and the outcome.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins

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