Lauren's Reviews > Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle
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Aug 22, 2010

really liked it
Read from August 21 to 22, 2010

In May, I had the opportunity to hear Father Boyle speak – and I’m glad I did, as he’s an amazing speaker with a unique voice and style. The book shares his speaking style, and, while I think I would have enjoyed the book even if I had not heard him speak, being able to hear his voice while reading did make it easier to appreciate the book from the start. (On a side note, even if you don’t want to read the book, if you ever have the chance to hear him speak: GO). This book is a memoir of Father Boyle’s two decades in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles and his work in establishing and running Homebody Industries. For those who either hate religion or are incapable of humanizing gang members, well, this book should probably be skipped. But I think most people would find it hard not to find something to appreciate within this slim tome’s pages. Father Boyle’s faith permeates this book, but rather than mire the book in one denomination, it enhances his tales and reminded me of the best of religion and religious leaders. The book is simultaneously inspiring and heart wrenching, and if the style is disjointed at times, it’s only because this man has so many stories to illustrate each chapter and point. A fascinating contrast to The New Jim Crow, it left me mulling over many things, not least of which is the nature of faith, compassion, and love and the power of religious figures to step above the fray and be neutral guardians for the best of the human spirit. As a whole, this book is stunningly beautiful, and I highly recommend not only reading it but also buying it.
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07/27/2016 marked as: read

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