06 March 2014

Diana Reviews 'The Forgiving Hour' By Robin Lee Hatcher

The Forgiving Hour

Zondervan, 2011

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
5 stars*****

Truly An Unforgettable Novel!

In The Forgiving Hour, Robin Lee Hatcher has penned a gripping, riveting novel of betrayal and forgiveness, and the consequences of sin as far reaching as ripples in a stream.

Claire Porter is content with her life as a housewife and mother. In her comfortable home in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by tulips and daffodils, her 12 year old son, Dakota, and a handsome husband, what more could she ask for? Although not a Christian, Claire prides herself in being a good, loyal wife who doesn't nag her husband, even if he does occasionally come home late and is temperamental at times. She is simply glad this handsome man chose her to be his life-long partner—until that fateful day she ventures into a dark pizza parlor and her near perfect life is turned upside down forever.

Now years later, Claire's grown son brings home his fiancée, Sara Jennings, who by a cruel twist of fate just happens to have been instrumental in the disintegration of her marriage. Claire's bitterness and lack of forgiveness towards Sara threaten to destroy Dakota's newfound happiness and that of his lovely fiancée; and a new love that is blooming in her own life as well. But surely no one would expect Claire to forgive this home-wrecker…not even God. Or would He…? 

This book was absolutely amazing to say the least and I devoured it in two nights! I literally had a hard time putting it down as this spellbinding, powerful story played out, and I experienced a gamut of emotions throughout. I was impressed at how well the author intertwined Claire's and Sara's point of view so that the reader could sympathize and understand both of these extraordinary women. And yes, surprising as it may seem, Sara was extraordinary! This is a compelling story of broken relationships, redemption, and the healing power of God's love that will melt the reader's heart; revealing how we, too, can be transformed and set free by the power of forgiveness.

**Note to readers: Robin Lee Hatcher told me that this is the first book she wrote when she switched from writing secular fiction to Christian fiction, and for that reason it is very special to her. It also happens to be a favorite amongst her many reader fans. We are so glad Robin made the "switch!"

This book may be purchased through Amazon (paperback and ebook), CBD and Barnes & Noble (ebook and audiobook only.) 

Giveaway: Winner's choice of one of Robin's books in choice of format. *Please enter email for contact purposes.*

Question: Has it ever seemed as though God has required you to forgive someone that you just absolutely felt it was unfair or impossible for Him to expect that of you?

86 comments:

  1. Great Review DIANA! This sounds like another outstanding book by Robin. Can't wait to read it!

    In reference to your question, yes there have been a few times in my life I have had to forgive people who have hurt me, I think the hardest was when it came from a former Pastor and people I had gone to Church with for years. Even when we don't feel like forgiving it always amazes me when we do GOD shows us how HE can use the bad things for our good!

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    1. I think as a Christian it's one of the hardest things to do, TERESA, because we are looking for a feeling. And even though we may not "feel" as though we've forgiven, we do it by faith b/c God said to and He accepts that. We may regain that feeling of love eventually, depending on the situation, or not. Most of our walk with Christ is a faith walk, however, and sometimes we don't feel a thing towards the people we forgive but that is ok! Loved this book! Thanks, TERESA~

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  2. I loved this book, and have read it a few times.... in my opinion, it is her best book ever. And yes, I had to forgive someone who was basically a Judas to me... still not sure I have totally forgiven them, but trying.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by OWG, MARK! What I do is ask God to help me forgive with His forgiveness and just leave it there. We do it by faith and I believe He accepts that!

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    2. MARK, can you leave your email addy for contact purposes should your name be drawn? Thx so much! Writing it this way will prevent spam (at) and (dot).

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    3. marcus802001(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    4. Thanks, Mark. Although I don't have favorites of my own books because each was written for a reason, I do have a few books that I have great fondness for because of where the stories came from in my own life or because of the way they have ministered to readers. So I don't mind at all when readers have a favorite, even though I hope they will continue to read and enjoy others. The Forgiving Hour, in so many ways, was truly God's work and I was just the vessel.

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  3. This book sounds amazing! I am dealing with learning forgiveness right now. I would love to win this book and if I don't win it I will be looking for it to purchase! My email is gigisnyder@icloud.com

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    1. JACKIE, it was amazing! Every time I sat down to rest I picked it up! After I finished I kept picking it up. lol Seriously, tho, I did!

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  4. Oh yes! This book will speak to everyone, if they are honest with themselves! We all have had to forgive someone that has deeply hurt us. I am still struggling to forgive someone now. And it seems that I am willing to forgive someone if they have hurt me, but this person hurt, scarred, my son, for life! It is so hard for me to forgive this person. But I know that someday, with God's help, I will reach that point!

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    1. Dear ANONYMOUS, my heart goes out to you. When someone hurts our children it is worse than them hurting us. I will pray for you, friend, and yes, you will reach that point. It was only God that helped me to forgive my abuser, and He is no respecter of persons. Ask Him to help you to forgive that person with His forgiveness which is not usually a feeling, but we care about their souls. He will help you b/c you are willing. God bless you.

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    2. Anonymous, forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. Although feelings often come later. But when someone hurts our child, that's a whole new level of forgiveness, isn't it?

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  5. Great Review Diana, I had not heard of this book , but I now want to read it. Yes , I can honestly say that the Lord has asked me long ago to forgive several men who have deeply wounded my heart and changed my life. One being the amn who used and raped me and is the father of my oldest daughter. Its not easy to do, but the Love of Christ can help us to do just that.
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, LINDA! It was first published awhile back in hardback format and then Zondervan republished it as an ebook. I think I got that right! :/ I believe you will really enjoy it!

      I'm so terribly sorry that that happened to you. That breaks my heart. It truly takes God to forgive someone like that, I know. His love in us is the only way to do that and yes, it is hard. Hugs to you, Linda.

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    2. Linda, Diana is right. The book has been out of print in hardcover for a number of years. But it is available both in ebook and in audio versions.

      Bless you as you work through forgiveness as an act of obedience to the Lord.

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    3. It was a past thing, but It would seem that in other areas of my life I am being constantly called to forgive even when others are at fault and wrong us. I do feel it is an act of obedience though. It is written" As you forgive others so also God forgives you". paraphrased but it leaves no room for unforgiveness. If I don't win I will be looking for this book of yours Robin and Thank you Diana for reviewing it.
      Linda

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  6. Thanks, Diana, for the thoughtful review of The Forgiving Hour.

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    1. The pleasure was all mine and I say that wholeheartedly.

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  7. Yes. The Lord set the perfect timing and moments alone together to forgive each other. It released both of us. I tried to do a "blanket forgiveness" and was asked, "For what?" Specific. Then I was able to state I felt used and the reply was, "You were." We embraced and prayed out loud together in agreement. Our relationship was strengthened and is now open. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. That is awesome that it turned out so wonderfully for you, KATHLEEN! There is a lot of freedom in forgiveness -- if not for the other person, definitely for us!

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  8. Unfortunately I have experienced a need to forgive and by God's grace was able to do so. I pray that I may be instrumental in the lives of others who have had a similar unfortunate experience.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Me too, BETTI. Many times and it doesn't get any easier, but it is necessary. God bless you!

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  9. Great review!!.
    Yes, I have struggled and sometimes still do. The situation that I still struggle with is because the person who hurt me is not sorry for what she did in the past, and continues to hurt me to this day. I know that I have to forgive her anyway but it is SO difficult.
    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, CINDI! That is the most difficult to me, too. A lot of times the person doesn't even realize they did anything and we are left with still having to struggle to forgive them. God will help you to forgive this person although you may not have a "feeling" of great love for her, it will be freeing for you. PLUS she has to stand b4 God for how she is treating you. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes.

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  10. I would love to win and read this book.I love Robin's books.Great review!Thanks for the chance.jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you, JACKIE! This is one you won't be able to put down, I assure you! :)

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  11. There are two people I have had trouble forgiving. again and again and again. I love Robin's books. I have not read this one. fishingjan[at]aol[dot}com

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    1. I have read quite a few, JAN, and I have to say this is one of my favorites of hers! I am looking forward to also reading her new book, A Promise Kept.

      I'm sorry that you keep getting hurt and sometimes we do have to forgive more than once...as if one time isn't hard enough! lol

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  12. I have to say yes that it is hard for me to forgive some one who has hurt me. But I know that it is the right thing to forgive them even if they keep coming back and hurting you.
    The cover of this book is absolutely beautiful and I just the first tiny bite and I can tell you that I would love to read this book.
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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    1. Love that, DANIE! "Just the first tiny bite." Cute, but I DID say I devoured it, didn't I? lol

      It is very hard to forgive, but it's a commandment we all must take to heart.

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  13. What a great chance to win another of Robin's great stories. Thanks for this giveaway. I hope I am the lucky winner....it will be a blessing.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10@tx.rr.com

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    1. BARB, it's such a pleasure to see you -- it has been awhile! Methinks the lady is doing a good bit of writing, right? ;) Good luck to you in the drawing!

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  14. What a lovely review, Diana! This sounds like an exceptional story and I am adding it to my TBR list!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, BRITNEY! Be sure to put this one at the top!

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  15. I have thought just didn't seem fair when the other person doesn't ask forgiveness but know GOD tells us we must. And several times have been hurt so bad by family members but never kept me from loving them and not wanting to see them when I have a chance. Family is too important for that. I did have an uncle hurt me once when I was a young girl but not sure I really ever forgave him. It also caused my favorite aunt to have to move away. But she was a pin-pal of mine from the day I married at 16 until 1 week before she passed away. Guess I better talk some more to GOD about that one. Please put me in for this book. Thanks for the good review Diana. All of you OWG girls are so good at this. Love you all. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. First of all, I want to tell you thank you for your kind words, MAXIE. We at OWG love you, too!

      Secondly, in some cases we think we haven't forgiven b/c the feelings we have towards the person isn't a loving memory. Ask the Lord to help you forgive your uncle with His forgiveness. And He will. It's a decision as Robin said above, not a feeling. Sometimes when we forgive the feelings will come later, often they won't. But tell God you forgive your uncle as an act of faith, and then let Him help you to let go of it. I had to forgive someone who abused me for many years as a child, and I know it was a supernatural thing; I couldn't have ever done it w/out Christ. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, dear MAXIE!

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  16. Forgiveness for some wrongs and hurts does not come easy. A must read for me.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. MARY, I so hope you get a chance to read this one! No, it's one of the hardest, but most important things we must do in our spiritual walk b/c the Lord said if we don't forgive, He won't forgive us! OUCH!

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  17. I won't say it is easy to forgive someone who has deeply hurt us physically, emotionally, or spiritually because it's not. But it is commanded that we do so. What makes it possible for me to do this is knowing and understanding what a depraved and lost soul I was, realizing how much God loved me and forgave me of my sin, and the agony that Christ suffered in MY place because he was obedient to our Father's will. How can I NOT be obedient and offer forgiveness? It takes much prayer, maybe even a little begging God to give me the strength to forgive a certain person, and many times I have shed buckets of tears, but the freedom that comes is amazing! I have seen firsthand how bitterness destroys a person and I don't want that for myself. I refuse to let Satan have victory over me. *Hopping off my pulpit now ;) *

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    1. ANNE, this is so good that I would like to print it on little cards and send it to everyone in the world. If the postage wasn't so outrageous. :P Thank you for your words of wisdom and truth!

      I have shed buckets and a lifetime of tears over someone who abused me as a child for many years. So I know firsthand how important it is to forgive. I don't want to be bitter either, and I pray I'm not. If it hadn't happened I may not have the compassion for ppl I have now and I may not have seen my need of God. All things work together for good He said in His word, and I believe that. I CHOOSE to forgive, for the Lord said if we don't forgive, He won't forgive us. I sure don't want that! *You may have the pulpit back now. ;)*

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  18. Wonderful review, Diana. I've heard of this book before, so glad you've reminded me of it. A must read, I know even before buying it.

    Bless you. xx

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    1. DOROTHY, thank you! The book is out of print and is being republished as an ebook -- however you can get a new paperback at Amazon from another book seller very inexpensively. But no postage for the ebook! :) A definite must read, gf!

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  19. I am a firm believer that forgiving is a healing process like anything else .There are just somethings you have to work and walk through and something are not easy to do .And forgiving something that have been said or done to you or you loves one is not a easy easy easy thing .Thank you for the offer .Blessings ,DanaGirl

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    1. DANA, I love your encouraging, Godly posts on FB! And love it when you come by OWG as well.

      It isn't an easy thing at all to forgive wrongs done to us or those we love, but God wouldn't require something of us that He wouldn't help us to do if we're willing. I so agree with you and thank you for sharing!

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  20. Yes. Forgiving is hard at times, but it's necessary. I find it's harder to forgive myself than others. Great review!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. SUSAN, that is a good point that no one has brought up yet. I had a very difficult time with that until I heard a preacher say one time -- if you won't forgive yourself you are saying Christ's shedding His blood to forgive you was not enough. So once I ask Him to forgive me I now am able to forgive myself...instantly. HIS blood was enough! God bless you and thank you!

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  21. Hi, Robin and Diana!!

    Thank you for that beautiful, touching, review - Diana!!

    One of the persons which I have been able to forgive, but which required my healed relationship with God, was the alcoholic husband I mentioned in the two previous posts this week. After years of abuse (and unwillingness, on his part, to make a change), I divorced my husband and God used the situation to draw me back to Him. How could I NOT forgive him??

    "The Forgiving Hour" has so many of the themes that draw me to a novel - "broken relationships, redemptions, and the healing power of God's love" - and I would love to read it, as well as "A Promise Kept"! Thank you, Robin!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    OWG

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    1. A wonderful testimony, BONNIE! Thank you for sharing and I believe you will truly enjoy this book as I'm sure in a lot of ways you will be able to identify with it!

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  22. Forgiveness is so hard when there are innocent people (my children) hurt by people who should be role models. Years of problems are hard to let go of, but with God's help we've learned to forgive and pray for this couple. We pray others won't be hurt and God will work in their lives. Sometimes the past comes up and we just have to turn to God and ask for His help to let it go and not dwell on it... it is an ongoing process.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. Yes, it is an ongoing process--one that I believe God accepts when He sees we are truly trying. Thanks so much for sharing, MERRY, and I admire you for praying for those that hurt you.

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  23. Diana,Thank you for your wonderful review of Robin's book.
    I have been blessed many times by her books.
    Forgiveness is really hard some times especially after we get through it with a person, only to have them keep hurting us. It seems like an unbreakable cycle but God has helped me each time. There are toxic people in this world who need the Lord and we have to interact with them if they are related ,and pray for them .
    My other greatest challenge with this has been the memories of some one who hurt me that has passed away. I forgave them but you know how Satan still likes to bring those old hurts up and you get weary of the battle. Thank God we don't have to do it alone.
    Thanks for great post.
    mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You are welcome, JACKIE, and I'm so glad Robin's books have blessed you. She is quite an anointed writer!

      Yes, I do know how satan loves to dredge up the past, but I just tell him (and myself) that I'm not gonna live with memories and unforgiveness towards someone who isn't even here any longer. It doesn't hurt them, only me. Sounds like you're doing all you can to please God, and that's all He requires of us. You readers have really blessed me with your comments! Thank you, JACKIE!

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  24. I got hurt in College and I held on to that hurt and anger for several years. I soon realized the only person I was hurting by holding on the bitterness was me................After all, God forgives me so I had no right to not forgive this person. I am proud to say I have forgiven this person and I feel so much better!

    dowelljanet@hotmail.com

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    1. I enjoyed reading your review!

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    2. JANET, I'm so thankful you made that decision! And it is a decision that is so freeing! Thank you for sharing and your sweet words!

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  25. Very good review. Sounds very engaging. I have to put this on my "Must Read" list.

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    1. LESLIE, it is a VERY engaging novel! Put this one at the top of your Must Read and lotsa luck in the drawing! :)

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    2. Oh :) Thatnks Diana. My email is Leslieh2o(at)gmail(dot)com.

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    3. Can I have a do over? :) It's Leslieh2o62(at)gmail(dot)com.

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    4. LOL. Unfortunately they don't have delete buttons on these replies, Leslie! Thx so much for coming back and hoping for a win for you!

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  26. I took years for me to forgive the person that burned down our home and try to destroy our family.
    Cheryl Baranski
    CherylB1987 AT Hotmail DOT com

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    1. Oh my gosh, CHERYL! You just stole my breath away with that one. I am horrified and so sorry that happened to you. I don't know what to say to you, but if you can forgive someone of that, then others should be able to forgive some of those little grudges that they want to hold on to. God bless you, dear friend!

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  27. I've had trouble forgiving myself. I came to know Christ less than two years ago after living a life filled with sin. So, slowly He has been healing me through the process of confession, repentance, and finally forgiveness.

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    1. My email is laurakimconnell(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. Thanks so much for sharing, LAURA, and for your kind words on the book site! It will be a constant growing process until we leave this world, b/c we'll never be perfect until we get to Heaven!

      But you can forgive yourself now and save yourself years of going through what I went through. I had problems with not being able to forgive myself until I heard a preacher make this statement and it instantly changed that part of my life. He said, "if you won't forgive yourself, you are basically saying Christ's shedding His life's blood to forgive you was not enough." His blood was more than enough to forgive all our sins! That was life changing for me. The forgiving of others may take a little longer, but we can do it by faith now, and trust Him to work that in us. Bless you for coming by!

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  28. Wow this looks like its going to the top of my to read list. Such a strong question too.... Right now God is pushing me to forgive my brother and sister but its just so hard. When I needed them they abandoned me... But no one ever said trials were easy.... I cant wait to read this book. Evilcat14@mail.com

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    1. STEVIE, I hope you get a chance to read this one! Even though it is fiction, the author herself had to deal with forgiveness (big time) as she personally faced the same issue as the heroine in the book. Her insight may just help you to step into that journey of forgiveness with your siblings! Blessings to you!

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  29. Great review, Diana. Yes, I've found it hard to forgive someone who hurt me and my little family badly. But God tells us we must do so. He doesn't say we have to forget. There is this fine line, though. Sometimes you have to forgive again and again and again.

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    1. And again, and again, and again... It is a hard thing, but God gives us the strength. And if we mess up, He lovingly helps us to get it right! Thanks, CARRIE!

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  30. I have been rushing around, preparing for a trip to see daughter, her hubby, and their four children. Haven't seen them in person in two years. Far too long!! So I apologize for not being able to respond to all of the comments that were added since my visit yesterday. God bless you all.

    Robin

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    1. It's been a joy! Enjoy those grandbabies! Blessings to you and a safe trip!

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  31. What an enticing review!!! Yes, I must read this - [edit] i WILL read this book!!! One Robin reading another, heehee... Can't wait to delve into it and find out who Sara is and how she was "instrumental in the disintegration of [Claire's] marriage."

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    1. ROBIN, hopefully that is a good sign (that you are named Robin!) lol One word of warning...you will be conflicted between Sara and Claire and won't be able to put this down! Great seeing you here at OWG!

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    2. Robin's email for above comment: robin.mason59(at)yahoo(dot)com

      Thanks, Robin!

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  32. I think I've been in that sort of a situation for some time now. Still working on it to be honest. Sometimes I feel like I have already forgiven that person, but then there are other times when it comes back and just hurts all over again. The pain isn't worth holding onto, but sometimes it does feel impossible to let go of.

    Thanks for the giveaway, btw!! So excited to see who the winner will be!

    Emreilly303(at)gmail(Dot)com

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    1. EMILY, sometimes the pain or memories never die. But forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Ask God to help you forgive with His forgiveness for as humans we aren't capable! And watch him Him work in that situation! He may restore or work it out another way, but at least you'll know you are in the clear with God. Bless you.

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  33. also in that situation God is working with me on letting go of the anger
    Thank u for the giveaway
    God bless u
    Chris
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. Thanks, CHRIS, for sharing! And that's the best we can do! Let go and let God.

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  34. I had a hard time forgiving my husband for something, and at times it still creeps in so i have to work on it over and over, but God has shone me his sin is no worse than my sins sin is sin in Gods eyes and since God for gave me i have to forgive my Husband. thanks for the give away i love your books and hope i win
    Shirley Blanchard
    jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. That's so true, SHIRLEY! Hard to look at it that way, though, when someone that we are close to hurts us! But, yes, God forgave us and set the example for us to follow. Thank you for sharing!

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  35. Wow! It seems as if Claire had a very hard time, but I like the title, THE FORGIVING HOUR. I definitely would like to read this book.
    kayewhitney@bellsouth.net

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    1. She sure did, KAYE, but so did Sara, believe it or not! But weeping endures for the night and joy comes in the morning! :)

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  36. Oo-oh--forgiveness! That is a tough one and I am glad that Robin wrote a book about it. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things that God tells us we MUST do! If we do not, then bitterness and anger grows in our hearts, and doesn't leave room for the love & forgiveness that is awaiting us from Christ. Yes, there have been several times I have had to deal with forgiving someone who hurt me (sometimes more than once) and although difficult I know it is a DECISION we MUST come to in order to move on in our life. freeing us to accept Christ's forgiveness for us. Like others have said, we may or may not ever have that feeling of the person accepting that forgiveness, yet we WILL know and receive the forgiveness given us by the One who counts.
    Vicki
    (OWG has my info)

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    1. It is so freeing, VICKI! I can't stand to be bitter and I may have gone thru a period of that, bc the person who hurt me all my childhood will never apologize. I had to accept that and go on. I have forgiven and that is enough, and leave this person in God's hands.

      Thank you for sharing...you are so right!! And when you get a chance to read this book, take it on a plane with you wherever you may be traveling. I double dare you to put it down. LOL

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  37. Wonderful review DIANA! So much so, I'm heading over to Amazon to check it out right now. Sounds really tough for Claire Porter... I'm feeling her pain just from reading your review..
    People will always hurt you won't they?! It is only the Lord we can FULLY trust in I have found.

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    1. Thank you, Noela! Famous Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer, said one time, "You know it's a strange thing about people -- they're everywhere. And once you can gain victory over people you got it made!" Easier said than done, Aussie!

      Glad you want to read the book -- I felt so many emotions while reading this book, and they weren't all sad!

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