Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman

copyright bookwormnai.wordpress.com

source: free review copy courtesy of amazon vine
title: Sweet Forgiveness
author: Lori Nelson Spielman twitter
first line: It went on for one hundred sixty-three days.
pages: 355
published: 2015
genre: fiction/womens fiction
rated: Moving and beautifully written.

#1 international bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman follows The Life List with Sweet Forgiveness, in which a woman’s receipt of two “forgiveness stones” sends her searching for atonement

The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation—instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans’ favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn’t biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years—and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals on air details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.

Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever.

My thoughts:
It’s funny because last summer around this time I was reading this author’s debut novel The Life List while on vacation. The Life List was fantastic by the way.
So when I saw that Amazon Vine was offering Lori’s second novel, Sweet Forgiveness, I happily requested a copy.
The storyline follows Hannah Farr, a thirty something talk show host who receives Forgiveness Stones from a former classmate who bullied her. This same old classmate has become somewhat of a celebrity after coming up with the idea of the stones and writing a book about forgiveness. The idea behind the stones is to accept one stone and someones apology and give the second stone away to ask for forgiveness or to forgive someone else.

At the heart of this story are themes of family, friendship, redemption, betrayals and long kept secrets.
I found myself drawn in right away and I related to Hannah’s character because she is more of the private type, she doesn’t really put herself out there. Ironically she is a talk show host, but she keeps her personal life private which works well for her since she is dating the mayor of New Orleans.

As the story flows Hannah’s life needs to fall apart before she can put it all back together the right way again. She is a well fleshed out and flawed character who goes on a personal journey when trying to offer and gain forgiveness.

The supporting characters like Hannah’s friend Dorothy, Jade and RJ all add to the story and I was curious to see how everything would end because things get pretty messy. She has alot of forgiving to do, but the first person she needs to forgive is herself because an accusation she made a very long time ago set into motion a chain of events that affected several lives. She also sets out to ask for forgiveness and to try to make amends.
This one makes you think about forgiveness and how difficult that can be sometimes but how liberating as well. It also reminds you that things might not be what they seem and that everything happens for a reason.

I realize now that my cloak of anger is actually a patchwork, and one of the emotions woven into the fabric is fear.
p.75, Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman

I recommend Sweet Forgiveness to those who enjoy beautifully written and moving stories. I look forward to what the talented Lori Nelson Spielman pens next.

It’s not the lie. It’s never the lie. It’s the cover up that ruins us.
p.160, Sweet Forgiveness

About the author:
Lori Nelson Spielman was born and raised in Michigan, the youngest of four children. After college, she began working in the public school system. She spent the early part of her career as a speech-language pathologist, and later became a high school guidance counselor. It was during her stint as a homebound teacher that she rekindled her love for writing. Her first book, THE LIFE LIST, became a #1 international bestseller, and Fox 2000 purchased the film rights. It has been translated into twenty-seven languages. Her second novel, SWEET FORGIVENESS, released in June of 2015. She lives in Michigan with her husband, and is working on her third novel.

Please visit Lori’s website at www.LoriNelsonSpielman.com. You can follow Lori on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lori.nelsonspielman, or on Twitter @LNelsonSpielman.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My free copy of Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman arrived via AmazonVine.
The book photo above is my own and is not to be removed from this post.

14 thoughts on “Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman

  1. Hi Naida,

    “It’s not the lie. It’s never the lie. It’s the cover up that ruins us.”

    For me, that would have to be the best line from this book, as it probably wouldn’t be one for me, although I’m not sure if that is for any other reason than that I can relate quite closely to the character of Hannah and reading the story would make me more uncomfortable than anything else, as the premise behind it, is just a little too close to home!

    Also, I have always steered well clear of chain letters of any description, as personally, I think they can be very devisive and unpleasant.

    I am not quite so averse to the idea of ‘pay it forward’, but even then my sceptical nature makes that an idea to be taken and used with caution.

    It would be interesting to see just how Lori deals with the multitude of emotions and secrets which Hannah’s story is going to reveal, although I am assuming that she does eventually receive her forgiveness, or the whole ethos of the stones would have been wasted.

    I am so pleased that you enjoyed this book and a your review is, as ever, very thoughtfully constructed.

    I hope that you are enjoying your summer 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvonne. I agree, that is a great line and one that really stood out while reading. It’s interesting how sometimes we can really relate to the stories we are reading, sometimes eerily so. And just because someone hands over forgiveness stones, it doesn’t make everything alright. I felt like this was handled well in the storyline. It takes so much more to forgive and years to heal even.
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment as usual. My summer is going well, I hope yours is also! 🙂


  2. Forgiveness is a good theme for a novel.

    It is of course a complicated subject and often does not just entail turning anger, resentment, etc. on and off like a light switch.

    In my opinion it is a really good sign when a novel’s main character is flawed as you describe Hannah. It adds so much depth to a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brian, forgiveness is definitely complicated and can take years to fully accomplish. It’s so much more than just saying you forgive, it is letting go of pain. I found this book dealt with the complexities of forgiveness pretty well.


  3. Enjoyed your review Naida! I remember picking this up at the bookstore because of the cover but ended up not getting it. I have to make sure to keep it on my TBR list!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting – forgiveness is a complicated subject, so I like that there’s a complex character to go with it. No one can be forced to forgive though, so now I’m curious how her forgiveness develops 🙂 Thanks for sharing this review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m drawn to books that deal with forgiveness and redemption. This sounds like quite a complex and worthwhile novel. I am glad you enjoyed this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lainy 🙂 That is one of my craft flowers, sometimes when I crochet a toy, I’ll decorate it by adding a flower to it.
      Otis is very well, thank you! I hope you are enjoying your summer.


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