Forgive Us Our Trespasses; forgive the novelist his

As a child, Dinny Brumm refuses to take anything from his father. His Aunt Martha and Uncle Miles tell him his father, whom he’s never seen, deserted his mother. They lead him to believe his father cares nothing for him.

In his hatred of his father, Dinny even takes their name lest he be linked to his father, newspaper magnate Zandy Craig.

Dinny finds a letter his dying mother wrote to him before he was born. It tells of her love for his father and how she found peace through forgiving those who had hurt her.

Dinny decides to see if forgiving others will help him feel better and win the woman he loves.

The plot is contrived, the main characters emotionally implausible. Douglas creates situations that he quickly drops, such as Dinny’s half-sister’s attempt to seduce him.

Although Forgive Us Our Trespasses is tinged with religiosity, author Lloyd C. Douglas stays far away from religion. He explores forgiveness as a tool for psychological health.

Despite the novel’s tacked-on happy ending, the only characters who seem likely to have any lasting happiness are Dinny’s aunt and uncle, who, despite their shortcomings, seem to have some genuine faith in something besides themselves.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses
by Lloyd C. Douglas
Grosset & Dunlap, 1932
369 pages
1933 bestseller #6
My grade C-

© 2013 Linda Gorton Aragoni


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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

2 thoughts on “Forgive Us Our Trespasses; forgive the novelist his”

  1. Thanks for google, I finally found this book. This. My favorite book. I read this in High School and it etched a life time picture in my life’s tapestry. I will have to buy this book some way some how.


    1. It would be interesting to know if you find the novel as good now as you did in high school. I remember being a Douglas fan in high school, too. He has much less appeal to me now.

      Check Alibris. It’s my favorite place for finding old books.


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