My book review of 'Forgiveness' by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Frank Cottrell-Boyce has written a number of brilliant children's books, numerous tv dramas and films such as 'Goodbye Christopher Robin', 'The 24 Hour Party People', 'Hilary and Jackie' and most recently 'Sometimes Always Never', and also co-wrote the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

When Frank worked on the film 'The Railway Man' he felt he'd learnt everything there was to know about forgiveness. This was a dramatisation of the life of Eric Lomax, a Japanese prisoner of war who returns in his later life to confront his torturer. In the 14 years it had taken for the film to reach the cinema, Frank had spent many hours talking to Eric and other prisoners of war.

But when Frank, a practising Catholic, was asked to write a book about what the Bible has to say about the subject, he found there was much more to uncover still, particularly in the light of our polarised and angry society today. Brexit, Trump, the Scottish Referendum, all the issues around the pandemic, have brought this to the fore, he says.

As you would expect from Frank, he writes warmly, engagingly and entertainingly. And, though the cover says this is a book for Bible study, it is more a collection of essays.

He takes a fresh and sometimes wry look at familiar stories in the Bible - the Prodigal Son, Joseph and his brothers, Job - as well as introduces some less familiar passages. He looks at things with a completely new perspective, debates with us the things he's puzzled over, shares some of his conclusions and invites us to ponder for ourselves. But also, he tells us to watch films or read books that take us further into these subjects. And for him, his next project will be on tv screens in the summer - a dramatisation of the Stephen Lawrence trial, another lesson in forgiveness from Doreen and Neville Lawrence.

Review date: January 2021
Publication date: 27th February 2020