Author: Jodi Picoult
Date Finished: August 19, 2007
After reading The Tenth Circle and Nineteen Minutes earlier this year and feeling a little disappointed in both (relatively, of course), I was thrilled by this book! Its still not my favorite, but out of the five I've read it is right in the middle (which still speaks a lot since The Pact and My Sister's Keeper are two of the best books I've read).
Keeping Faith was of course filled with sticky subject matter. The book begins as Mariah and her seven-year-old daughter Faith walk in Colin (husband/father) with another woman. Colin leaves, Mariah falls into a fit of depression, and Faith begins talking to her "guard" - an imaginary friend that only she can see or hear. After Mariah takes Faith to a psychologist, it becomes clear that Faith is communicating with God. As many of the religious consultants in the book explain, communication with God is one thing, but Faith also appears to be performing miracles as well as exhibiting stigmata on her palms. Not only does this complicate little Faith's life in making her different from the other children that she knows from school, but the press begins to have a field-day with the strange events. And if that isn't bad enough, her father also sues Mariah for full-custody of Faith believing that she is being harmed.
Sticky situations. What I really liked about this book is the grace with which Picoult handles the subject matter of religion. What becomes really interesting throughout the book is that Faith is not Catholic as the stigmata would suggest, nor does she have a strong background in religion as her visions would suggest. Instead, she is a child from a mixed-faith marriage (Jewish and Christian) with very little religious instruction. The other thing that I appreciate about the book is the discussion of second chances, about taking control of one's life, about a mother's love for her child. I would definitely recommend this book.