This slight book reflects all of the values and also the limitations of an author who, since retiring as a heroic liberal bishop in Scotland, has found no need to be constrained by the shackles of the institutional church, and now advises in the arts. I read the book (less than 100 pages) in an hour or so, wondering if he would reveal an understanding and experience of forgiveness beyond the institutional church, getting away from the assumption that forgiveness is largely a religious matter. The answer is No.
To be sure, he writes fairly well against traditional general ideas of God and claims to exclusive and revealed truth in his first chapter, though his "Godless Morality" is a better introduction. Holloway is at his best in the second and third chapters, writing about the messes we all get into - victim and wrongdoer - when we do not let go of the past; and the damage caused by not forgiving, even when one is seeking the apparently virtuous role of judging with truth. Indeed, his prose here is sometimes memorable and beautiful, releasing the poetic imagery found in his best books.
But his final chapter, in which he tries to describe unconditional forgiveness, reads like a so-so sermon from his file. He gives no personal examples of forgiving from his life or from others, and does not seem to have any fresh insight into what forgiving means or costs. So it's a very disappointing book for anyone hoping for a direction towards finding forgiveness, or for insight into how to forgive or to help others to do so; significantly Holloway does not refer to any major teachers or trainers in forgiveness apart from Desmond Tutu. One for fans of Holloway rather than fans of forgiveness.