Front Range

Triumph of the Heart: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World

Colorado author Megan Feldman Bettencourt traveled the globe to unearth the stories behind forgiveness.

August 2015

—Courtesy of Avery Books, A Penguin Random House Company

The moral of Megan Feldman Bettencourt’s first book—forgiveness is good!—is as old as the Bible (or the New Testament portion, at least). But it’s difficult to believe there’s ever been a more in-depth investigation into why. Feldman Bettencourt, a 5280 contributor who lives in Denver, traveled to 10 cities and towns around the globe to research compelling instances of forgiveness, from the father of a murdered son in San Diego to a survivor of genocide in Rwanda. Each example is backed up by forays into the science behind exoneration (forgiveness may be evolutionarily hardwired into our systems). The most compelling narrative, however, is the author’s own. Her journey to overcome heartbreak and life’s disillusionments, a personal account that knits the pages together, is both poignant and relatable. If it reads just a little like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love—well, we’re prepared to forgive her.