Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Review: Letters from My Father's Murderer

Letters from My Father's Murderer
By Laurie A. Coombs
Kregel, 2015


When her father was murdered, Laurie Coombs sought justice and found it.

His murderer now serves two life sentences with no possibility of parole. Yet, despite the swift punishment of the killer, Laurie found herself increasingly full of pain, bitterness, and anger she couldn’t control. After coming to faith, she realized she was being called to seek something infinitely more difficult than justice: forgiveness.

This is an extraordinary true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God to change lives. The reader is swept along with Laurie as she undergoes the life-changing transformation of becoming a Christian. As she studies Scripture, seeing God redeeming losses and healing deep wounds time and time again, she starts to understand that her own healing would require her to love her enemy in a real, practical way.

Using her incredible correspondence with the man who killed her father, Laurie reveals a compelling journey of transformation, not only in her life, but in the lives of those whom many would call irredeemable.

My thoughts

Letters from My Father's Murderer . . . The title alone demands that I pick this book up. Candid, poignant, and even raw at times, this is certainly a book that will make readers think, a story that boggles the mind when it comes to Christ's command to forgive, and just might leave you rethinking what you thought you knew and understood about forgiveness.

The book's description says that Letters from My Father’s Murderer is for any audience, Christian or secular, who
   —Craves freedom from the inability to forgive those who’ve caused them harm
   —Wants to hear testimony of God’s power in our obedience
   —Has experienced pain through other’s sin against them
   —Needs to know healing is always possible

The murder of Laurie's dad is the framework on which her memoir is based, but it is all of the above that and more. On one level, it's a story about the effects of murder, what was in Anthony's heart, etc. - but at the heart, this is all about forgiveness, redemption, healing. A testimony to the kind of God we serve and the far-reaching arms of redemption.

Laurie walked away from the church at age fifteen when her parents divorced, and it was such refreshing joy to see a new believer discover the person of Jesus, the difference between "religion" and "relationship" - and to walk beside Laurie on her quest to understand this new faith.

When it comes to Christ's command to forgive, knowing and doing are different things, as most of us have found out, many times over. Through her desire to be obedient to God's leading, Laurie walks the fine line between kindness and friendliness, and silently preaches many sermons through her actions - challenging us at the same time.

I am a person who is inspired by quotes and so many of Laurie's thoughts are highlighted in my copy. Here are just a few . . .

"I believe the battle intensifies once we come to Christ, for with Christ comes a new enemy: Satan."

"They say time heals all wounds, but that's simply not true. Time only dulls the pain. God heals the wounds."

"Anger unresolved turns to bitterness every time."

"Darkness flees in the presence of light, but light cannot go where it's not permitted."

"The thought of God using me to help bring forgiveness and healing to the very one who had harmed me was a beautiful thing."

I am so glad that Laurie shared this experience through Letters from My Father's Murderer and recommend it to all readers.


Laurie A. Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope that is found in Jesus. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s new film, “Heaven.” She is a featured writer and blogger for iBelieve and Crosswalk. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their two daughters.

Connect with Laurie online at lauriecoombs.org, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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  1. Carole, Thank you for your review. I heard Laurie on Janet Parshall's program last week and meant to look her up,

  2. sounds like a good one. Can't wait to read it.

  3. Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday this week! Always glad to have you!