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Publisher's Summary

One ordinary spring morning in Reykjavik, Iceland, Thordis Elva kisses her son and partner good-bye before boarding a plane to do a remarkable thing: fly 7,000 miles to South Africa to confront the man who raped her when she was just 16. Meanwhile, in Sydney, Australia, Tom Stranger nervously embarks on an equally life-changing journey to meet Thordis, wondering whether he is worthy of this milestone.

After exchanging hundreds of searingly honest emails over eight years, Thordis and Tom decided it was time to speak face to face. Coming from opposite sides of the globe, they meet in the middle, in Cape Town, South Africa, a country that is no stranger to violence and the healing power of forgiveness.

South of Forgiveness is an unprecedented collaboration between a survivor and a perpetrator, each equally committed to exploring the darkest moment of their lives. It is a true story about being bent but not broken, facing fear with courage, and finding hope even in the most wounded of places. Personable, accessible, and compelling, South of Forgiveness is an intense and refreshing look at gendered violence, rape culture, personal responsibility, and the effect that patriarchal cultures have on both men and women.

Contains mature themes.

©2017 Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“The essence of their cause: removing the burden and shame of rape and sexual violence from victim's shoulders and placing it squarely onto the shoulders of those who commit it the most.” (The Huffington Post)

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  • Eva
  • 09-19-17

Very moving and inspiring

This book is one of the best books I've ever read about rape, and I'm speaking from the viewpoint of a survivor. I admire how Tom and Thordis had the courage to face their past, and how detailled they describe the whole way they went together. They show us a way forward, to living wholeheartedly without denying the past, and without holding on to anger.

The narrators are both good, but I really didn't like the voice of Tom by the female narrator. In the beginning, I almost stopped listening because of the weird voice and accent, but I'm glad that I didn't. After a while, I almost got used to it.