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The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A fresh, inspiring book on learning how to forgive--with firsthand stories from those who have learned to let go of resentment and find peace

"When we learn to embrace forgiveness, it opens us up to healing, hope, and a new world of possibility." --Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

Written with grace and understanding and based on more than twenty in-depth interviews and
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 10th 2020 by Pamela Dorman Books
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a giveaway.

The personal stories of forgiveness in this book are pretty incredible and inspiring. I would have liked to have seen more commentary from the author with some suggestions about how to implement the forgiveness process, but the stories illustrate clearly that it can be done in the most difficult circumstances.

I really enjoyed reading these stories. The diversity of the persons and situations presented should appeal to a wide audience and is organized well. I'm
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was heavy at times but extremely inspiring. To see how people have been through unthinkable situations and still have the power to forgive was crazy. It made me think of how I can forgive others and ultimately, myself in situations.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read this book. Very moving stories about the act of forgiving. Beautiful book.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing, beautifully written book. The very real stories of famous people, people who suffered trauma or disease, were hurt or injured by others, as well as the homeless and how they managed to forgive others. This book will appeal to all and all will be able to recognize how they may be able to apply the way others have dealt with sadness and anger against those who injured them in some way.
This is a book I will keep and reread.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book!
Thank you for the
Understanding the concept of forgiveness as shared through these unbelievable stories by people who personally suffered horrific incidents may be hard to accept by some. I myself was a little skeptical as I started reading through the stories... but by the end you realize that everyone has to make their own choices in order to simply keep going and living their lives even after they were severely scarred or close family members were lost.

The author does a great job in recapping the essence of
The Gift of Forgiveness by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt is a wonderful collection of unique, personal, and inspirational forgiveness stories. Each person featured in this book retells their personal path to forgiveness illustrating that not all roads to forgiveness look the same. Forgiveness is NOT one-size-fits-all. We all come to forgiveness in our own times and in our own ways, but the goal is universal to be freed from the pain, grief, anger, and trauma that this life can throw our way ...more
Megan  ~The Never Ending Book Basket
I thought this book was beautifully written, and presented a lot of meaningful and emotional stories of forgiveness and what that looks like for different people. I really enjoyed getting the different stories of forgiveness, as well as getting this authors own perspective and reflection on each story that she shared. I read this book in one setting, and I found myself really thinking and reflecting while reading about what I was reading, these different stories I was experiencing, and what it ...more
Jason Muckley
"The Gift of Forgiveness" by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt is an inspiring book on the power of forgiveness and how it is much more a gift for yourself rather than those you forgive. It is a story about overcoming and about beginning again in the face of tragedy. It is about moving forward and letting go instead of being controlled by something or someone that has wronged you in the past.

Ms. Schwarzenegger's nonfiction collection of the lessons learned by some of the most inspiring sources is
Carol Pickersgill
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book has mini synopsis of other people's books and/or stories of forgiveness.... and then a paragraph or two from Katherine telling her response to these tales of forgiveness. My overall conclusion is that forgiveness is personal - and may not truly be "forgiveness" but choosing to move forward and forget. Forgiveness can come instantly - or dozens of years later when it is just time to let go of the feelings of hurt. Note that all the stories are of truly horrific things that were done to ...more
W. Whalin
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In An Angry World, We Need The Gift of Forgiveness

We live in a world of road rage and many actions from others which dont make sense. Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt captures interesting stories from the lives of others in her book, THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS. I heard the audiobook version cover to cover and found it worthwhile listening.

Each chapter tells the story of a different person and how they handled forgiveness. The variety of experiences is interesting and the storytelling is excellent
Tala Gilbert
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book!

I could not put this book down. There are stories in here of real people who have gone through horrendous life interruptions and come out on the other side of them with stronger faith, healed hearts and restored relationships. This book helped me see some areas in my own life that I have held on to that I need to move on from and forgive even though I have zero contact with the people who have harmed me, I still need to forgive and move forward to be open to love again. Thank you,
Lee Woodruff
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Most of us probably have an inconsistent relationship with the capacity to forgive. For many, it can be a life-long process. The grace that comes with forgiveness is lovingly detailed in Schwarzenegger-Pratts new book. From victims of sexual trauma or ethnic violence to the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart and Sandy Hook Mom Scarlett Lewis, the book contains interviews and stories from everyday folks and household names. The author draws bite-sized conclusions that allow us to see the potential to ...more
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring read. The actual life stories are given of people who have succeeded into peace after horrible situations. No matter what has or will happen in our lives, this book gives us insight on ways to handle the situation. We all have or will have a person (or situation) we need to forgive in our minds (hearts?) in order to live OUR lives more fully. This book puts perspective on how to begin that process. I like the fact that "forgiveness" is a gift to yourself to move on. It also ...more
Mary Huff
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well written book with many varied examples of people who been through unbelievable loss or hurt and have learned how to truely forgive the person or persons who hurt them so deeply. Author Katherine has done her homework and interviewed many people for this book, letting them tell their own story and then telling her how they either came to forgive or in a few cases have struggled with it themselves. Having struggled myself with forgiveness, I can echo what everyone who has forgiven in that it ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend this book as a must read . This book was well written and researched to provide accurate storytelling of the persons retelling their stories of forgiveness . They were very difficult stories to read and understand how forgiveness was achieved . I sobbed remembering all the tragedy that was experienced and how much work went into forgiveness in order for life to move forward . We need to work more on seeking and giving forgiveness .
"You think you'e letting someone else off the hook, but you're letting yourself off the hook. Because if you don't have that forgiveness, you're not gonna heal."

Some really moving stories about people who've offered or received forgiveness and how it's changed the course of their lives. I liked that there were different perspectives, not just from giver/receiver, also from people who didn't think forgiveness is the right word, or who didn't think people need to forgive per se. Good read!
Mandi Spillar
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed several of the emotional stories of forgiveness the author presented. Three stories really moved me: Ron Hall, Immaculee and! I think forgiveness is very personal and this book missed the mark for me. While I appreciate the authors attempt, I found this repetitive and filled with obvious advice. Her synopsis at the end of each story felt disingenuous. I felt her insights were a bit contrived and her thoughts were poorly written.
Susan Jessup
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Im reading this during the stay put order for the Coronavirus. This book was perfect to read, even though the focus is on forgiveness towards people I think it could also relate to finding forgiveness in circumstances. After being at home for a week people in the world are showing anger, towards the events. The action of other and uncontrollable circumstances. Maybe we should use this time to forgive. ...more
Trudy Jaskela
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Forgiveness means different things to different people. What came through from each story was self-love was necessary in order to forgive another. three of the people interviewed were Elizabeth Smart, Susan Klebold, Dylan's mother (Columbine shooting), and Pablo Escobar's (Columbia drug kingpin) son.
Karen R.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, this book explores instances of people who are able to forgive under the harshest of circumstances. I struggle with forgiveness. It is a very difficult feat to accomplish. Reading these stories helped me think of some aspects in my life I have been struggling with. Very insightful book!
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
In my opinion, I would have enjoyed this more if the author had maintained all her insights to after the interviewee's words. Also, this book does not offer what it boasts so I was left feeling a sense of disappointment.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is filled with great stories of forgiveness in what seems like the impossible. Some stories are more emotional than others but they all make you think and show you hope in getting through anything that is thrown at you.
Megan Ingram
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This one is essentially a collection of stories. It shares several peoples journeys to forgiveness, each one in a very different situation from the last and each one inspiring. I found myself reflecting on my own relationships with others a lot as I read it. ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
- You must forgive yourself.
- Forgiveness looks different for everyone.
- "Forgiveness starts with a choice, and then it becomes a process. It's taking your personal power back." - Scarlett Lewis (p93)
- Forgiveness is a choice and needs to be practiced.
Melisa Nelson
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely, short read. Learning about other peoples experiences with forgiveness was eye-opening and often relatable. I really enjoyed this book and hearing the authors perspective on each persons story. ...more
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly inspiring and it has gave me a different perspective on the world. Im glad the author spoke up about such a great topic and I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with forgiveness. ...more
Natalie Devero
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a gift and a must read. It really opens your mind up to the act and gift of forgiveness. Although I always try to remember that everyone is carrying some sort of cross, this book is a true reminder of how to delve in to understanding and acceptance.
Dorothy Ahl
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The individual stories of forgiveness that the author speaks about are very powerful. In this trying time it was truly a gift to read about these real live people and their amazing ability to take the high road and forgive others, despite suffering great pain. The stories were inspiring
Amber Phillips-Lee
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
While I loved the positivity this book shared I felt that the synopses of the stories shared in the book shouldve been more in depth. It left me with a lot of questions unanswered so it became frustrating. ...more
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Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt is a New York Times best-selling author, animal advocate, daughter, sister, wife and step-mom. As a passionate animal advocate, Katherine works as an Ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society and the ASPCA, lending her time, voice and energy to spread awareness about animal rescue. As an author, Katherine has skillfully translated her own personal experiences into ...more

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“whole discussion of forgiveness is about. It’s not between you and that person—it’s between you and yourself.” Instead of using the word “forgiveness,” Sue prefers to focus on other words, such as “balance,” “integration,” “recovery,” and “empathy.” She believes that all of us on earth” 0 likes
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