Synopses & Reviews
Forgiveness is one thing, but who really forgets?
Ivy Griffith has been released from jail after serving time for covering up the strangulation death of a high school classmate ten years earlier. Shes paid her debt to society. Kicked her drug habit. Shes making a fresh start.
Problem is, everyone in her hometown of Jacobs Ear, Colorado, knows what she did. And her seven-year-old son, Montana, wont stop probing about the father he has never met-the man Ivy was too stoned to even remember.
Plagued by her own shame and her little boys cries for male affirmation, Ivy is thrilled when Rue Kessler takes an interest in Montana and her. Maybe, just maybe, hes the answer to prayer shes been waiting for.
But Rue has a shadow hanging over his past and is suspected in a rash of bizarre, brutal beatings. He denies any involvement, and Ivy believes him-until she discovers he and Montana have kept a secret from her.
At a loss for what to believe or where to turn, Ivys on the verge of despair and wonders if even God has given up on her. Or is something bigger at play here-something being orchestrated outside of her control thats about to bring down the curtain on everything including her past?
Ivy Griffith is released from jail after serving her sentence for withholding evidence in the Joe Hadley murder case, and shes ready to put her years of pain and drug abuse behind her. But when a series of new mysteries increases, Ivy struggles to move beyond the secrets of her past.
This fast-paced suspense novel continues the Phantom Hollow series with a rich exploration of the risks and possibilities of starting over. When Ivy Griffith walks out of jail after serving her sentence for withholding evidence in a murder case, shes ready to put her years of pain and drug abuse behind her.
About the Author
Kathy Herman is the bestselling author of twelve novels, including The Baxter series, Poor Mrs. Rigsby, and the Seaport Suspense novels. Her thought-provoking stories are ordinary enough to be believable, and extraordinary enough to stick with the reader long after the cover is closed. Kathy and her husband, Paul, live in Texas and have three grown children and five grandchildren. They enjoy world travel, deep sea fishing, and bird watching-sometimes incorporating all three into one big adventure!
Reading Group Guide
1. Do you believe 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” should be taken literally? If not, what do you think this verse means? Do you believe theres any other way to be forgiven by God than confessing our sin?
2. Are there sins youve confessed that you dont feel forgiven for? If so, can you identify the reason why you have doubts? Does your reasoning line up with Scripture? Is it possible its actually you who hasnt forgiven the sin and not God?
3. Is there a difference between deeply regretting your sinful past and being guilt-ridden? If so, can you explain the difference? What is the biblical remedy for guilt and shame?
4. Is there a sin in your past that youve confessed but live in fear of someone else finding out? If so, are you still carrying the shame? According to 1 John 1:9, has God forgiven you? Can anything positive come from your carrying the shame? What do you think God wants you to do?
5. When a believer continues to struggle with guilt, do you think confiding in a trusted brother or sister in Christ could be a powerful tool for letting it go? Can you think of some cautions a person should consider before doing this?
6. Can you think of a situation when you heard someone share something surprising about his or her struggle with sin and you actually found yourself respecting that person more for having had the courage to admit it? Were you able to empathize with his/her weakness? Did the person seem more real to you afterward?
7. Can deeper healing result from knowing were loved and accepted in spite of our sin? Do you think God can use your sinful mistakes as a means of teaching you empathy for others who also struggle?
8. Do you believe God always forgives a person who has repented and asked His forgiveness? If so, do you believe His grace would be given in equal measure to someone like Ivy Griffith for a decade of abusing her body, as it would to Elam Griffith for harboring a six-month grudge? Explain your answer.
9. In Matthew 18:22, Jesus tells us to forgive others seventy times seven. Do you think that statement should be taken literally? If not, what do you think it means? Do you think theres value in applying that same principle when forgiving ourselves?
10. Do you think God punishes us if we dont repent once we realize were sinning? When youve experienced hardship, have you ever secretly feared that God was punishing you? Is it possible He was disciplining you as outlined in Hebrews 12:7—11?
11. Have you ever experienced this type of godly discipline? Did it make you fearful, or remorseful? Did it eventually cause you to grow more Christlike?
12. Do you believe Psalm 103:12, which says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us,” should be taken literally? If not, what do you think it means? If so, should we ever dredge up the sins weve already confessed?
13. Is there ever a time when we have the right to hold someone elses sin against him or her? If you think there is, find biblical support for your answer.
14. What are some of the faulty perceptions a person might have that create stumbling blocks to accepting Gods forgiveness? Do faulty perceptions change the truth of 1 John 1:9?
15. Who was your favorite character in this story? If you could meet that person, what would you like to say to him or her?
16. Did God speak to your heart through this story? Was there a particular thought or principle you took away?