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Keeping Faith [Paperback]

Jodi Picoult
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 13 2000

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, develops stigmata, and begins to perform miraculous healings, Mariah wonders if her daughter--a girl with no religious background-might actually be seeing God. As word spreads and controversy flares, Mariah and Faith are besieged by believers and disbelievers alike, caught in a media circus that threatens what little stability they have left. Building inexorably to a climactic battle for custody, Keeping Faith explores a family plagued by the media, the medical profession, and organized religion in a world where everyone has an opinion but no one knows the truth. Fascinating, thoughtful, and suspenseful, this extraordinary novel is Jodi Picoult at her best: controversial and compelling.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Picoult's fluent and absorbing storytelling will welcome her new novel, which, like Harvesting the Heart, explores family dynamics and the intricacies of motherhood, and concludes, as did The Pact, with tense courtroom drama. In the small town of New Canaan, N.H., 33-year-old Mariah discovers that her husband, Colin, is having an affair. Years ago, his cheating drove Mariah to attempt suicide and Colin had her briefly committed to an institution. Now Mariah's facing divorce and again fighting depression, when her eight-year-old daughter, Faith, suddenly acquires an imaginary friend. Soon this friend is telling the girl how to bring her grandmother back from the dead and how to cure a baby dying of AIDS. As Faith manifests stigmata, doctors are astounded, and religious controversy ensues, in part because Faith insists that God is a woman. An alarmed Colin sues for custody of Faith, and the fear of losing her daughter dramatically changes meek, diffident Mariah into a strong, protective and brave womanAone who fights for her daughter, holds her own against doctors and lawyers and finds the confidence to pursue a surprising new romance with TV atheist Ian Fletcher, cynical "Spokesman of the Millennium Generation." Though the novel feels a bit long, Picoult's pacing stabilizes the increasingly complicated plot, and the final chapters, in which Mariah fights for Faith's custody in court, are riveting. The mother-daughter relationship is all the more powerful for being buffeted by the exploitative and ethically questionable domains of medicine, media, law and religion; these characters' many triumphant transformations are Picoult's triumphs as well. Agent, Laura Gross.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When seven-year-old Faith White and her mother, Mariah, swing by the house on the way to ballet class, they find that Daddy is home and he's brought a playmate. This is not the first time he's been caught cheating. After the fuss and feathers have settled and Dad has moved out, Faith begins talking to an imaginary friend who, it seems, is God. And God is not male but female. Faith is able to effect miraculous cures and is also occasionally afflicted with stigmata. When the media gets wind of this, the circus begins. The local rabbi takes an interest (Faith and Mariah are technically Jewish), and the local Catholic priest pays several inquiring visits. There is also a gaggle of psychologists. Throw in a professional atheist for the romance angle and a vicious custody fight with an egomaniacal lawyer, and you have a riveting read. Picot (The Pact, LJ 2/15/98) gets better and better with each book. If you can suspend disbelief on one or two points, this is an entrancing novel. Highly recommended.ADawn L. Anderson, North Richland Hills P.L., TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner! April 25 2004
Format:Paperback
KEEPING FAITH by Jodi Picoult
This was my second book by Jodi Picoult, and I will definitely be reading more by her. As with THE PACT, KEEPING FAITH centered on a controversial topic, something that would be seen in today's headlines. In KEEPING FAITH, there are two themes - one of a family being torn apart by infidelity and divorce, and the other one centering on the child that is caught in the middle. But this is not any ordinary child custody story. What happens here is something that is only seen in Catholic history books and other religious literature: Seven-year-old Faith is discovered to have powers that are akin to miracles performed by Catholic saints.
Faith's news brings the media to their home town, everyone wanting to witness and spread the tale of this little girl who can bring back the dead, who is suffering from stigmata (spontaneous bleeding from the hands and feet), and can perform other miracles. Her mother Mariah is trying her best to deal with this plus deal with her broken marriage. With the help of her mother, Mariah tries to make sense of what is happening. When her ex-husband Colin finds out what is happening to Faith, he uses this to point fingers at Mariah, telling the world she is causing her own daughter to suffer and become a media circus. He files for custody, when only a few months ago he had walked out the door, not bothering to look back. Faith is torn between her two parents, and at the same time finds herself in the middle of this mystery about herself, not knowing why she is able to do what she does.
KEEPING FAITH is a riveting, complex story that will keep the reader interested till the very end. It is what I definitely call a page-turner. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Novel May 13 2004
Format:Paperback
Annotation: 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, which leads to reciting passages from the Bible, developing stigmata, and beginning to perform miraculous healings, Mariah wonders if her daughter-a girl with no religious background-might actually be seeing God. As word spreads and controversy flares, Mariah and Faith are besieged by believers and disbelievers alike, caught in a media circus that threatens what little stability they have left.
Author Bio: Jodi Picoult grew up in Nesconset, New York. Her previous novels include "Plain Truth," "Mercy," "Keeping Faith," and "The Pact." Jodi Picoult received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton and a master's degree in education from Harvard. The recipient of the 2003 New England Book Award for her entire body of work, she is the author of ten previous novels, including "Second Glance", "Perfect Match", and "Salem Falls." Jodi Picoult's novels center on family, relationships, and the balance of love. Riveting plots bring to light questions and issues that remain with a reader long after the last page is turned. Eleven of her published books have been critically acclaimed.
Evaluation: Many people have their own opinions of Mariah and Faith. When it came to the custody battle between Mariah and Colin, Mr. Metz took advantage of the fact that Mariah was institutionalized. He made her out to be a mentally unbalanced person, as well as an unfit parent. Many people as well as the media felt that Mariah was the one who made Faith pretend she was seeing God.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome and Trite Aug. 24 2000
Format:Paperback
I am not one to rail against novels; if I don't like something, that's well and good, but I'd rather let others form their own opinions on things. I so disliked this book, though, I have been driven to say something to counter all the positive reviews. The novel is entirely trite and predictable. I could anticipate the events, the actions, what the characters would say (no shock when the Jewish grandmother would exclaim "oye!") - even the last page of the book. Every hot topic was pulled out to drag in the reader: an affair, a divorce, an attempted suicide, a possible god-sighting, miracles, stigmata, love, good vs. evil, Christian vs. Judaism, exploitation, mental illness, gender empowerment, and a court room climax. Eye-rolling plot aside, it did not read well, either. The speaker would often shift from first person to third with a pattern that I couldn't pick out. Chapters would begin with feeble assertions ("The Priest had never seen a crowd so large." or "The Private Investigator had learned never to trust anyone." etc.) that sounded as if a high schooler was composing his first creative writing paper. The book screams for a Lifetime adaptation for movie of the week, and begs to be chosen for Oprah's book club (though it is not of that caliber). Spiritual novels about love and family can be a joy to read, but everything rang so false in this book that I'm still kicking myself for wasting time on it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Guard April 11 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Keeping Faith was an awesome and incredible book. I read this book at a very good time. I started reading it during Lent and finished it a few days before Easter, on Good Friday. Everything that Faith experiences in this book comes to life. I absolutely loved this book. The plot was awesome and some of the sudden changes in events were very surprising.

This book is about a little girl who's father has once again cheated on her mother and the trials that she experiences throughout the divorce. When everything seems to be going wrong and the world turns its back on Mariah, Faith develops an imaginary friend whom she says is "her guard" . Soon Faith begins to experience stigmata, perform miracles, and recite Bible verses that she has never heard or seen before. Pretty soon everyone thinks that Faith is seeing God and instead of being a normal child, Faith is turned into and international icon. Religious people, show hosts, and news crews are all outside camping in the Whites' front yard. The story goes on to explain about the people that help Mariah and faith get through this hard time when all they want is to be a normal family again. On top of Faith's visions, her father sues her mother for custody of Faith. The story is suddenly turned into a double situation. Mariah does everything she can to keep Faith safe and in her care. In the end everything turns out okay, but I won't spoil the ending for you.

Because my family and I are very religious, this book really hit home for me. I could relate and understand what the child was experiencing. Although it is very hard to believe that something like this can happen, I feel as though I was in the book and believed in Faith and her visions. I could almost feel Faith's confusion, frustration, and her pain.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeping Faith
I found this book to be all right, a bit slow in areas it holds one's interest but certainly not her best
Published 23 hours ago by Shirley Misener
3.0 out of 5 stars Keeping Faith
I found this book slow in places. I found it didn't hold my interest like many of her other books.
Published 5 months ago by Linda E Hay
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
I had trouble putting this book down. Your own faith helps in both believing and sympathizing with both mother and daughter.
Published 10 months ago by Donna Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this novel as an excellent read.
The beginning pulled me in and it was difficult to put the book down. There was intrigue, romance, anger, mystery and hope. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Donna Nemeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Another story well done
As usual, Jodi Picoult has written a good "keep you interested" story. I could hardly wait to see how it turned out. Read more
Published on July 16 2012 by rosebud
5.0 out of 5 stars Picoult takes a risk
Tackling the subject of religion is a minefield for any author. Jodi Picoult does it very well. I couldn't put it down and was not disappointed.
Published on March 15 2011 by lh1963
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but...
I have read many books by this author, and although my favourite is still My Sister's Keeper, I enjoyed this one very much. Read more
Published on April 11 2009 by H. Myles
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put down this book
I'm new to Jodi Picoult & thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it hard to put down even though I should have been going to sleep!
Published on March 20 2008 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
i had recieved a gift voucher from a friend, and looking through the shelves at my local book store I could find nothing except for this book which caught my eye. Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by Carlie
4.0 out of 5 stars Picoult is a fine storyteller
There are those authors that are fine writers and those that are fine storytellers. It's always a pleasure to come across an author that is endowed with both gifts. Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by J. Fercho
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