Friday, April 8, 2016

Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer by Kate Grosmaire

In March 2010, the author’s 19-year-old daughter, Ann, was shot at close range by her boyfriend, Conor, someone beloved by her family. He left her and drove around for 45 minutes before turning himself in to the police. After four days, she was removed from life support and died within a few minutes. The book takes a deep, tender look at Ann and her family, detailing the mature way in which her parents dealt with the whole traumatic situation, from the moment they were notified. They aimed constantly to see things from God’s perspective and to obey what He said to them. This caused them to choose forgiveness. Their reasons, based on the Bible, are clearly stated, and Scripture quotations are included, helping the reader understand their decisions and experience. The forgiveness offered was not simple or easy. They explain how it has been and even still continues to be a process, and series of choices. The author makes it clear that she does not forgive Conor for his sake but for hers; she does not want to spend her time and life cloaked in bitterness. The path the family chose was restorative justice, a concept and process detailed thoroughly in this account. This approach to crime is diametrically opposed to our current criminal justice system, as it places the victim and family squarely in the middle of the process, allowing for healing and growth. Much of this book is about this approach, including how and why it was applied for the first time to this first-degree murder case in Florida. There is much in this book to contemplate. It is thoughtfully written and addresses the hard issues. Everyone in this story is quite human, and their strengths and weaknesses are included. This sobering book is well worth reading. I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.

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