While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Review: Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle

Thanks to Niki with Condor books for letting me participate in this blog tour.

About the Book

How do you fight despair and learn to meet the world with a loving heart? How do you overcome shame? Stay faithful in spite of failure? No matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs boundless, restorative love. Gorgeous and uplifting, Tattoos on the Heart amply demonstrates the impact unconditional love can have on your life.

As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration. Tattoos on the Heart is a breathtaking series of parables distilled from his twenty years in the barrio. Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we could find the joy in loving others and in being loved unconditionally. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JCPenney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Lula we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Pedro we understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the darkness. In each chapter we benefit from Boyle’s wonderful, hard-earned wisdom. Inspired by faith but applicable to anyone trying to be good, these personal, unflinching stories are full of surprising revelations and observations of the community in which Boyle works and of the many lives he has helped save.

Erudite, down-to-earth, and utterly heartening, these essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love in difficult times and the importance of fighting despair. With Gregory Boyle’s guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.

For more info about Tattoos on the Heart please visit Condor Books.

My Review

The stories in this book were so touching. There were times I was crying and times I was laughing. Hope and compassion are really great words to use when talking about this book.

There were so many stories, and while they were all touching they were presented in a way that seemed a bit jumpy to me. If the stories had flowed better I would have been much happier with this one. But it was still pretty good as it is.

The language took a bit for me to get used to. Greg Boyle's language shocked me the most. There were a few times that he used some swear words, and all I could think was this is a man of cloth.... But given the situations that he was in, and the people he was in those situations with the language was understandable. It just shocked me the first few times.

The work that Greg Boyle has done working with the Homies is amazing. The stories he has gained in the last 20 years are a testament to his work. These stories range from sad, to touching, to happy. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster reading this one, but I think it was well worth it.

There is a religious message in this book, and even though it is repeated many times throughout the book I didn't feel as if Greg Boyle was trying to be pushy. For those that don't like to read religious books I would say you should give this one a go regardless. The stories really are touching and they filled me with a feeling of hope.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

1 comment:

nilki said...

Great review Jennifer!