Today I posted a book review on Amazon for The Ravine: A Novel of Evil, Hope, and The Afterlife by Robert Pascuzzi:
Forgiveness is a concept that seems to be everywhere these days, whether in books, Facebook memes, or at the pulpit. No matter what their religious or spiritual tradition, most of us can agree on the necessity of forgiveness in the human experience.
But what does it really mean? And how can someone forgive a crime like the horrific murder of one’s own wife and child?
In his compelling fictional novel The Ravine, author Robert Pascuzzi delves deeply for answers to these questions, drawing from the teachings of Jesus in Scripture. Understanding the difficulties most of us have in offering forgiveness for much lesser transgressions than murder, the author presents a realistic portrayal of characters struggling to process the reality of two brutal murders and a suicide by a very close friend.
Along the way, readers encounter supernatural occurrences, along with a psychically gifted character who acts as a bridge between God and the grief-and-anger stricken. While I would like to have seen the character of Tony throughout the course of the novel (he’s the brother of the murderer) and witnessed his spiritual development in the aftermath of the crimes, Pascuzzi does a nice job portraying its effects upon the offender’s two best friends, who nearly lose their marriage in the fallout.
Readers may be put off by what appears to be “The Devil Made Me Do It” excuse, but I viewed this as one man’s inability to use his God-given free will to say “No” to evil and listen to the word of God instead of the directives of The Enemy. I found the book to be a fascinating ride through this imperfect earthly life, with the promise of heaven via forgiveness. It’s filled with hope that life does not end but rather changes form, while it affirms God’s promise to his faithful. A highly recommended read.