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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Can you forgive? Do you have the strength and the faith needed to forgive? What if someone killed your sister in a brutal act? Could you forgive? In The Ravine, Mitch is very conflicted. His close friend, Rachel, has been brutally murdered by her husband, Danny, a man she loved and trusted; a man Mitch loved as a brother-in-law. Danny also brutally killed his son, Evan, though he did spare the younger son, Christopher. Then, in remorse, Danny killed himself. Mitch is always going to mourn the loss of Rachel and Evan. He can't understand how or why Danny did what he did. And now, he is being told that he should forgive Danny. According to a woman, Joanna, a minister, a spiritualist who reaches beyond the physical world with her visions, God has already forgiven Danny and Mitch should too, in order to prevent the anger within him from festering.
Robert Pascuzzi has written an insightful story about the conflicting powers of good and evil, and how it can be so easy for a man, like Danny, to be led down the wrong path to do something so heinous as brutally and viciously (because it was more intense than just a shot in the head) murdering his own family. The author takes care to provide back stories on the characters, particularly Danny, the murderer, and Joanna, the spiritualist. These back stories build the characters and provide the reader with an understanding of the events that led up to the brutal act and the gentle guidance provided after the tragedy. This is indeed a powerful story about forgiveness.