Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Faithful; Alice Hoffman

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.

4/5 stars
(review copy)

28 comments:

  1. It's on my TBR at some point list so I'm glad you liked it.

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  2. I've seen this book everywhere. I've been thinking of reading it and I liked your honest review.

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    1. Laura, I'd be curious to read your thoughts if you read this one.

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  3. If this were a movie I would pick Jennifer Lawrence to be Shelby. I liked it and read it quickly, not as much magical as her others but I love Alice Hoffman books.

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    1. Glad u liked it. J.L can play so many diff roles...love her.

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  4. Eek yes that sounds a little too *miracle-y* for me. And I hear you about the whole YA feel of a story like that. It seems adult books are more and more relying on YA level reading. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find current books that explore the lives and life stages of people in middle age and beyond.

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  5. I love Alice Hoffman but I'm just not sure about this one. A agree with Trish's sentiments. With so many books I'm 100% looking forward to in my TBR, I'm not sure that I'll get to this one.

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    1. There are so many books that sound good. We can't possibly read then all can we?

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  6. I've been wanting to read Alice Hoffman but haven't managed to make the time. This sounds lovely despite the flaws and one I think I'd enjoy. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Katherine, I do hope you will try this author.

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  7. My book club read one of Hoffman's earlier novels last year (The Red Garden) and I'd be open to reading another. This does sound like a YA story, but I'm glad it was still enjoyable.

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    1. Never read the Red Garden and, yes, this had a YA feel.

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  8. Hoffman used to be an autobuy for me because I did enjoy her earlier stuff, but been a while since I read anything by her!

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  9. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Diane. (Did the length make it seem like a YA novel?) I intend to read something by this author, hopefully soon!

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    1. The length and then the age and behavior of the characters.

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  10. That sounds like a pretty powerful story.

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  11. Sounds good--I think I like Alice Hoffman, but I've only read one of her books. It's interesting how some readers just have a YA feel to them--I think I know what you mean here.

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    1. One, I think I read all of her earliest books but, then missed the more recent ones except for this one.

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  12. I really liked her last novel: The Marriage of Opposites (http://keepthewisdom.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-marriage-of-opposites.html) but this one does not call to me.

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  13. I enjoyed your review. I think I might recommend this to my bookclub in Jan. It sounds like there might be a good discussion over this one.

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  14. Diane, at one time we were in a bookgroup together. I don't recall what group but I don't think we are any longer. Just want you to know I read your reviews/blog often and enjoy so very much. I read an ARC of Faithful this summer on the beach and enjoyed it so much. Hope you are doing great ..Happy Holidays you.Jeanie/KY

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    1. Jeanie, I do remember you from the Yahoo book group. I think it may have been "weekly reads". I no longer participate in any Yahoo groups (less time even though i'm retired now) LOL

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