This is where tattoos on the Heart begins. Gregory Boyle takes us through some of the most Heart-wrenching stories ever told; it is truly life changing to hear them. The preface, I noticed, has a theme of beginning. We learn why Gregory began this book and a little bit about his own child hood. I particularly like the story of what this book is not. "There are several things this book knows it doesn't want to be" (Boyle xii). Gregory then goes on to tell us what it is not: it's not a memoir of his past twenty years of working with gang members, there is no narrative chronology that he follows, and it's not a how to deal with gangs book. It is simply a book about compassion, love, renewal, faith, success, and kinship.
"Turns out this is what we all have in common, gang members and nongang members alike: we're just trying to learn how to bear the beams of love" (Boyle xiii).