I have never read a book quite like Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace by Terri Roberts. The story is about the aftermath of the 2006 Nickel Mines shooting, in which five girls were killed and five more were injured by gunman Charles Roberts IV, who was the author’s son. It was very unique to read a book written by someone so closely related to the killer, and it is one of those books that has stayed with me long after reading it, as different passages resonated in my mind. Even though the book shows how the Amish forgive, it reminds us that they do not forget, and despite making the choice to forgive, they still have to go through grief and pain.
Forgiven not only shows the pain of the victim’s families, but also the pain of the perpetrator’s family. And in this true story, we see that both groups of people surprisingly come together after the tragedy; today, Terri has grown close to the victim’s families, who are able to see that she is a loving, kind, and not responsible for her son’s actions. The book is a remarkable story of forgiveness and grace, but it is also a sober reminder that just as one person can be a light to the world, one person can also cause terrible destruction through the choices they make.
You can read more about Forgiven here.