This week, I want to give my review of a couple of really good books that you should check out.
The first is Forgiveness, by Mariane Evans. Here's a blurb about her book:
Country music bad boy, Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up-and-comer, Pyper Brock and instantly sparks ignite. Despite her rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation and soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. No way will Pyper make the mistake of falling for a man whose done battle with the bottle. What happens when Chase’s quest to win Pyper’s love breaks down chains of resentment and eases the long-buried wounds of her childhood? And what happens when Pyper’s father shows up in Nashville, clean, sober and seeking a chance to apologize? Can Pyper follow a pathway to peace when it comes to her father? Can she fully trust Chase? Above all, can a sin-damaged past be released in favor of forgiveness?
First, a little lesson on forgiveness and why it's so hard.
Forgiveness is a tough action for most humans. It doesn't come naturally, as we have a tendency to hold on to grudges. If we've been mistreated in any way, our natural psychological response is to protect ourselves from further mistreatment. Even from people who haven't hurt us yet.
How do we do this?
It actually has a lot to do with type-casting/stereotyping. An example is the best way to get this point across. We're in a grocery store and we see a mom talking harshly to her child as they are checking out. We don't know what the situation is, whether the woman is a single mom at her wits end or just mean.
But what our brains tell us is that this mom is talking to her child just like this other mom we know...maybe our own. We might remember what it felt like to be in tears, only to have your mother, who is supposed to comfort you, tell you that she'll "give you something to cry about."
We immediately associate this mom in front of us in the checkout line with the mom of our past.
And BAM. We put up walls against this mother. We hold a grudge to protect ourselves. We might even crusade on behalf of the little girl, to save her from a fate as bad as our own. Anything not to face the music of our own traumatic past.
Marianne's book delves into this exact type thing. I loved the premise...forgiveness is something everyone struggles with. All walks of life, all classes of people. First impressions are sometimes so damaging that you don't get a chance for a second one. Traumatic experiences can color everything following them. This book is about overcoming all of that...which is hard!
Famous people have an even rougher road. When your life is in the public eye, and everything you do is under scrutiny, the pressure is immense. The very public nature of Chase's downfall and subsequent belief in Christ leaves him open and vulnerable to attack, from Christians and non-Christians alike. He has to wrestle with forgiving himself for his own sins. Pyper has to wrestle with forgiving the sins against her, as well as her own sins against others in the form of being unwilling to forgive. It's a tricky balance to achieve, but with Christ, all things are possible.
This is the hope of Marianne's book, and my hope is that you'll give it a shot. The romance between Chase and Pyper won't make you regret it. :)