KEEPING FAITH* by JODI PICOULT.
* Different from the book I read which was an Isis hardback, large print edition.
For the second time in her marriage, Mariah White catches her husband with another woman, and Faith, their seven-year-old daughter, witnesses every painful minute. In the aftermath of a sudden divorce, Mariah struggles with depression, and Faith begins to confide in an imaginary friend.
At first, Mariah dismisses these exchanges as a child's imagination. But when Faith starts reciting passages from the Bible, develop's stigmata and begins to perform miraculous healings, Mariah wonders if her daughter - a girl with no religious background - might be seeing God. As word spreads and controversy heightens, Mariah and Faith are besieged by believers and disbelievers alike, caught in a media circus that threatens what little stability they have left.
....... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): Under normal circumstances, Faith and I should not be home when my mother calls and invites us to come see her brand-new coffin.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 179): Little girls, they dream of being princesses. Of owning ponies. Of wearing jewels and ball gowns. Not of bleeding for no reason at all, just to be like Jesus.
MY THOUGHTS: What is it about Jodi Picoult's books? Formulaic to the point I could scream, usually over long, generally a little far fetched and yet I nearly always finish each book thinking its her best yet.
No exceptions here. Yes, Keeping Faith in many ways follows the usual Picoult formula (includes emotional issues; tick, centres around a child; tick, involves a court case; tick) yes, at over 600 pages its over long, yes, it is far fetched in places and, yes, it is her best yet despite all of these things.
Starting slowly, the plot then thickens before it ends on what I at first felt was an extraordinary twist then, on consideration, felt was a bit off a cop-out.
Well written and obviously thoroughly researched, whilst the 'medical' side of Faith's condition made interesting reading it was the possible religious and sociological ramifications that I found totally fascinating not too mention thought provoking.
Perhaps not so good were the characters who with the exception of reporter and atheist, Ian, I found a bit, well, flat and non too convincing, the religious leaders, and in particular those of the Catholic faith, somewhat clichéd.
As I said I don't know what it is about Jodi Picoult novels but just as I thought this book her best ever I will no doubt think the same about her next.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Ex-library stock, I'll be passing this onto my mam.
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