South of Forgiveness, described as non-fiction narrative, has sprung out of one traumatic incident that has deeply affected two individuals and resounded with millions across the world.
As a teenager Thordis was raped by her then-boyfriend Tom Stranger. Nine years later, having built a career as a social activist and writer Thordis began to examine her own experience.
“…I broke my silence by writing to Tom and confronting him about the violence he subjected me to, in the hope that it would rid me of the blame I wrongfully shouldered. I expected no response at best, or a negative response at worst. The only thing I didn’t expect was the typed confession I got back from Tom, full of disarming regret. This led to a unique correspondence where we analysed that fateful night and the consequences it had for both of us. After eight years of writing, we felt it was time to face our past, once and for all. We decided to meet in the middle, flying half way across the world to South-Africa. The following week permanently changed our lives.”
South of Forgiveness is made of letters, emails, diary entries and reflections of the week Thordis and Tom spent together. Tom said to Thordis in one of their final meetings in South Africa “…there’s an awkward silence. A fear of digging deeper maybe. I just want to say something… I want to speak up, and minimize the chance of our history being repeated.” And so began the next stage of their journey, sharing their story in a public arena through both their book and their joint presentations.