Change of Heart by Jeanne Bishop
Release Date - March 2015
Westminster John Knox Press
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Change of Heart is a powerful story that marks the sometimes unimaginable journey as one woman takes steps to forgive her sister's murderer.
Jeanne Bishop never expects to get a call that her younger sister, Nancy, and her brother-in-law are both dead. The family had just celebrated the news that Nancy was pregnant. It's therefore even more unbelievable to learn that they were not the victims of a car accident. They went home, entered their home, and were killed by someone who had broken into their home. Even after begging for their lives, the young man shot Richard first and then shot Nancy a couple of times. Three lives ended in one horrific incident.
The entire family is reeling from this murder, and it's only made worse when they learn the killer is someone the family knew. Through the trial, the anger continues to build, but what happens next is shocking. Jeanne begins working against the death penalty and begins a path to forgiveness. That journey is shared from beginning to end in Change of Heart.
Clearly, from the subject matter, Change of Heart is a very personal story. In her shoes, I'm not sure I ever would have forgiven, especially given the murderer's attitude. If you like true crime stories, this one is likely one you'll want to read and then ask yourself if you could do what the author did when she opted to choose forgiveness. I see this book being a great way to start some very interesting conversations in reading groups.