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Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a…
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Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother's Love, and a Story of…

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October 2, 2006--the unthinkable happened. An armed man walked into an Amish school house, ordered the teacher and boys out, locked the door, asked the girls to pray for him, shot all but one gilr who managed to escape and then killed himself. Yet out of a crime that rocked the world came a most surprising thing; forgiveness. Not because there was a lack of pain, devastation or grief, but because of the firm conviction the Amish have about this, and this family was known to them. On that very day, an Amish man went to the home of the parents of the shooter, told them it wasn't their fault, and that he forgave their son.

This book, written by this mother along with a professional writer, might not read like breathtaking literature, but it is her story. It also has bits of writing from others. In the remarkable journey that followed all of the grieving families and community, both of the victims and the perpetrator, there grew a deep and abiding friendship There were grief counsellors brought in, of course, and they also formed long lasting friendships. The Amish don't appear on film or do public speaking, so they turn to Terri Roberts, the mother of the shooter, to speak for them, and usually some Amish go with her for support and to share testimonies.

If you are not at all religious, perhaps you won't want to read such a Christian oriented book, but if not, then at least read about this from secular sources. Regardless of your personal beliefs, I think a close examination of how this was handled and helped with healing and moving forward with a new normal that includes a lifetime of hurt somewhere in there can still be useful. ( )
  Karin7 | Apr 3, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
On October 2, 2006, a young, married, father walked into the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse, shot ten girls, killing five and then turned the gun on himself. The author, Terri Roberts, was the shooter's mother. Her family, as well as the Amish community was devastated by this senseless act.

Ms. Roberts found an unlikely source of sympathy and example for forgiveness in the Amish community near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The very families her son hurt so badly came forth with an outpouring of warmth and taught her the way of forgiveness. For in order to heal, Terri needed to forgive her son. In the years since, she has nurtured lasting relationships within the Amish community and has made it a mission to spread the word of love, forgiveness and healing to the world. Even if you don't subscribe to the notion of an all-seeing Christian God, there is an important lesson to be learned about the healing powers of forgiveness.

This review is the reader's opinions in exchange for an advanced reading copy from the published Bethany House. ( )
  punxsygal | Feb 17, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
*note: I received a free advance copy of this book in return for an unbiased review*

October 2, 2006, stands as an infamous day because on that day an adult man broke into an Amish Schoolhouse, terrorizing those inside, killing and injuring many young children. Nine years later Terri Roberts published “Forgiven; The Amish School Shooting, A Mother’s Love, and A Story of Remarkable Grace”. The situation was devastating to the whole community, a tight-knit group of families following a religious ideal. The killer was known to the Amish community and their children as the truck driver who picked up the milk their farms produced. But he shot them, apparently without any cause. The news media swarmed the community, outraged. What the media saw was completely unexpected: forgiveness. Amish forgiveness completely stunned the wider American culture. Roberts was stunned as well. She is the mother of the killer. The book is her story, and an unexpected one.
The whole country seemed to be dismayed and horrified. Cameras inundated the small community and encamped at both the homes of the schoolchildren and homes of the shooter’s family. An unexpected event gave the incident a whole new perspective: forgiveness began on the day of the shooting. An Amish man came to visit the killer’s mother and father. He knew them and wanted them to know he was hurting for them and praying for them. This was the Amish way. The hurt was unbearable, but the community still stood behind forgiveness, individually as they were able, and as a group very clearly. The cameras recorded that first step, which was followed by many more, eventually resulting in a story which almost defies our ability to believe. What so intrigues the reader of this book is the active forgiveness which was both given and received. Terri Roberts did not simply accept their forgiveness, she responded by reaching back out to her son’s victims. Authentic suffering and simple forgiveness led to an intimate relationship between many of those involved, bringing healing and a new beauty. People began asking Roberts to speak to small groups of hurting people, then to larger groups, and eventually to step in to help with other major incidents, like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. She, the receiver of such forgiveness, became the voice of forgiveness and healing. A book became the natural result of more people wanting to hear the story, and Roberts need for more people to understand. She began the book by baldly describing the horrifying incident and the subsequent days and weeks. She interspersed that story with recollections of past events, at her life and her son’s life to try to understand why. It was a fairly deft format, leading us both forward and backward smoothly. The publisher, Bethany House, is a niche publisher for Christian audiences mostly.
The Amish victims and their families eventually became so close that one boy who was terrorized in that schoolhouse went with Roberts to a speaking engagement to support her, and spoke alongside her. When documentary filmmakers wanted to interview the Amish families, they turned to Terri Robert to speak for them. With this kind of backing, we can see that Roberts is fitted for the platform she has been given. Ethos is clear. Her position throughout the incident is heart-rending. To have born and raised a man who would kill innocent children is completely intolerable...but it had to be tolerated. Thus, the reader encounters undeniable Pathos, anguishing with the parents of the children and also with Roberts as she writes to the reader in a conversational and informal tone. The reader is also given several practical ways to deal with tragedy when it occurs, in a clear and organized format at the end of the book, making a Logos understanding of the topic clear.
Tragedies happen. Roberts’s work gives insight on how we can learn to respond. When forgiveness is the focus and suffering is authentically shared, the first step is begun. But the second step also needs to be the focus: accepting the forgiveness, being able to stand up and be part of the healing and move forward. Roberts message is profound and simple, and is relevant to many occurrences worldwide: from sudden Paris terrorism to personal offenses which will never make the news, from the injustices of modern slavery amidst a purposely blind western culture to a drunken driver plowing into a family van. Roberts’s work in an unexpected and pivotal insight. ( )
  tuckertribe | Feb 9, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Forgiven, by Terri Roberts, is her story of life after the awful tragedy when her adult son killed the Amish schoolgirls in October of 2006. It deals powerfully with the emotions of grief, anger, embarrassment and then the healing that comes from forgiveness. The unexpected tenderness from the Amish community is explored and how Terri forges lasting friendships with the families of the children her son killed. The last chapter is particularly helpful with advice about how to navigate when life sends you unexpected pain and sorrow. This is a tear-jerker for sure but also a very positive message of hope. ( )
  cyncie | Nov 4, 2015 |
Forgiven: stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake

We all know that we need to forgive, but how do we know we have actually forgiven? Is it a choice, like love? Is it easier to know when we have not forgiven? I do not know if the book has a lot of answers, and perhaps raises more questions in the reader's mind. This book is graphic in that we see and feel the raw emotion that the author, Terri Roberts has and shows, as well as the pain of the victims. This is probably the only book ever written from the perpetrator's mother's viewpoint, and as such is a powerful voice. It was well written and the story flowed along much better than some other biographical stories do. It also gives us a picture of the deep faith that all the characters that make an appearance in the book have.

Thank you to Graf-Martin Publicity Group and Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book. I was given a free book in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own. ( )
  mbarkman | Oct 17, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764217321, Paperback)

Mother of Amish Schoolhouse Shooter Gives Message of Hope and Healing

Who would have believed all the beauty God would create over the nine years since that awful day. On October 2, 2006, a gunman entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse, shooting ten girls, killing five, then finally taking his own life. This is his mother's story. Not only did she lose her precious son through suicide, but she also lost her understanding of him as an honorable man. Her community and the world experienced trauma that no family or community should ever have to face.

But this is, surprisingly, a story of hope and joy--of God revealing his grace in unexpected places. Today Terri lives in harmony with the Amish and has built lasting relationships that go beyond what anyone could have thought possible. From the grace that the Amish showed Terri's family from day one, to the visits and ongoing care Terri has given to the victims and their families, no one could have foreseen the love and community that have been forged from the fires of tragedy.

Let Terri's story inspire and encourage you as you discover the wonder of forgiveness
and the power of God to bring beauty from ashes.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 03 Aug 2015 18:12:29 -0400)

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