Faithful; Alice Hoffman
Simon & Schuster - 2016
Faithful is a relatively short novel about tragedy and redemption. To me it felt more a YA novel but, regardless it still managed to hold my interest.
Shelby Richmond and her friend Helene Boyd were making plans for college life when an automobile accident with Shelby behind the wheel changed everything for both girls. While Shelby recovered physically, she remains guilt ridden and stuck She can't deal with the fact that her good friend is in a coma.
At least initially Shelby doesn't feel that her life is worth living. She can't stop punishing herself and she even spends time in a psych hospital. Once released she lives in her parents basement, rarely emerging for nearly two years until one day with the help of her friend Ben, and the power of animals to heal, she begins to come around.
Shelby's character felt very genuine as did her gradual healing. As the title suggests, "faith" plays a significant role in the healing process. A story of survival, I loved the way that the novel ended on an uplifting note but, I wasn't a fan of the way Hoffman used Helene's coma as a touchstone for believers in need of a miracle in their own lives to visit Helene and touch her hand with the hopes of being healed.
It's been a while since I've read a novel by Alice Hoffman and although I had a few minor issues with this one it was still a good story.