on December 10, 2000
Seven-year-old Faith is caught in the middle of her parents crumbling marriage and in much need of a friend to confide in. That is when her imaginary friend "Guard" steps in. Not long after, miracles start to occur around Faith, and this small town in New Hampshire starts to realize that Faith is not only speaking to "God", but that her God is a woman.
The faithful start to arrive on Faiths' doorstep in search of miracles; along with the media led by a card carrying atheist whose TV show thrives on disproving such hype. They are all found camping out, waiting to have a moment, or a word with Faith. In the mean time the custody battle between Faiths' parents flares up leaving her torn between them as well as more confused with each passing day. The complications heighten when this innocent child exhibits the bleeding hands of the stigmata, leaving the doctors completely baffled.
Jodi Picoult is an author that will keep you coming back for more and will easily make a fan out of you. She takes a story and makes you question it every turn of the page. Something that may appear to be blatantly true is transformed into the totally unexpected, you will find yourself doubting just about everyone in the book at one point or another.
I suggest another of this authors books if you haven't had enough, "THE PACT, A LOVE STORY" which is about a teen suicide, another great read. The end of every chapter leaves you wondering about the veracity of each characters statement. Sometimes she does it with just one word, turning your idea of things "head over heels" when you thought you had it all figured out. Picoult is a truly talented author and worth watching and reading, you will certainly be entertained.
on August 23, 2000
I get so happy when I make a selection for my Reading Group that really meets the needed criteria for a wonderful group discussion! "Keeping Faith" certainly fits the bill. The subject of this book first intrigued me, as did my interest in reading one of Jodi's books. I jumpd into reading the book thinking, I hope the storyline is not too contrite, too predictable and most of all not too "science fiction". I was pleasantly surprised. I found the characters well developed and almost to the point that if I saw them walking down my street, I would recognize them. This book, in my humble opinion, involves three life changing factors: Faith, Trust and Healing. Having Faith leads you to achieving the trust in your relationships and that is which allows healing to occur. In this book, through the fast paced drama and constantly weaving plot structure, we are positioned in the lives of people who have lost their Faith, rejoin them when they are questioning and reclaiming it, and finally at its conclusion, observe them move forward in their lives acompanied by the healing which all were in search of. Our discussion is scheduled for September and I can hardly wait to discuss the characters, and the components of this novel. One question I will be asking is, What was the greatest miracle Faith performed? I am sure to get many differing responses!
I cannot wait to read another of her books..I hope they are equally as entertaining and mind challenging.
on July 12, 2000
Stigmata. Issues of beatification. Spirituality. None of these are topics that would lure me to a section of a bookstore, no less to the cash register. Nevertheless, this compelling story of a girl who sees something -- maybe God -- kept me up until 2AM, and then back up at 5AM to finish it before work. At its core, this is a book about a relationship between mothers and daughters. Faith sees God. Faith's mother loves her daughter. Faiths grandmother loves her daughter. These three well-drawn characters cope with the adversity of the judgement of others, the adoration of strangers, and the accusations of the alienated with full human dimension and fine insights. The additional dimension of the catholic church struggling with the vision of God as female, fringe and mainstream rabbis offering talmudic (and eccentric) thoughts, the medical providers dealing with the unexplainable medical events around faith, and an atheistic investigative reporter provide the perfect adversaries to read a moving story of mother love and all of the forms it takes. This book is a great read.
on June 14, 2000
Once again, Jodi Picoult has written a masterpiece. One that not only keeps the reader enthralled but gets you thinking as well.
Mariah White and her daugheter Faith have been through a lot but it is when they return home early one afternoon to find Mariah's husband in the bedroom with another woman that things really start to happen.
This is not the first time that Mariah has gone through this with her husband but it is the first time that Faith has had to witness it. Mariah once again goes into a depression and Faith finds an imaginary friend to help her through the tough times. While imaginary friends are not unique, Mariah's Guard seems to be something entirely different. Shortly after the Guard comes to visit, Faith begins quoting the bible and is able to spontaneously heal people.
This turn of events brings proclaimed aethist and anti-televangalist Ian Fletcher to the scene determined to discredit Faith and her supposed conversations with God.
Along the way, Mariah, Ian and Faith must learn to trust one another, love one another and learn from one another as not only is Faith's health in question but Mariah's right to keep her child is questioned as her ex-husband takes her to court.
All in all, there is more than one story written into Keeping Faith and how wonderful they all are. Jodi Picoult can write like very authors can - she keeps you on the edge of your seat while you fall in love with the characters and she makes then jump off the page as if you have known them for years.
Her titles are always creative and have a double meaning which I simply love. If you enjoy Keeping Faith you should try The Pact and Harvesting the Heart - two of her other excellent offereings.
Jodi is one of the most talented writers to hit the scene in ages - make sure to savor every last word!
on June 13, 2000
In 380-ish pages that seem to turn themselves, Jodi Picoult makes readers stop and think about several issues as simple as mother-daughter relationships and as complex as God. Mariah White, for the second time in their marriage, catches her husband with another woman. The first time, she was pregnant with their daughter, Faith. The second time, Faith was with Mariah when Colin was caught in the act. The first time, Mariah tries to kill herself. The second time, Colin leaves and Faith's "Guard" shows up. The seven year old starts performing miracles, attracting media attention, develops stigmata and quotes the Bible, although she's never been subjected to it. Mariah tries to shield her daughter from the attention while trying to find out for sure what is wrong with her. The reader switches back and forth several times, wondering if Faith is seeing God or if her mother is seeking attention. The book ends with a custody battle between Colin and Mariah and the reader wondering how much "Faith" they really have and would have if in a similar circumstance. The book is filled with colorful characters, perhaps the best Mariah's hold-no-punches mother, Millie. A GREAT book that you won't put down, and won't forget after you do.
on May 2, 2000
Mariah White catches her husband with another woman (the second time during their marriage), her 7 year old daughter, Faith, witnesses the whole ugly scene. Mariah goes into depression and Faith retreats to a world of silence until she begins talking to her "imaginary friend". Mariah has little concern about the "friend" until her daughter begins reciting passages from the Bible, performing miracles and experiencing stigmata.
Once the media hears of the little girl, they endlessly try to find out more, turning Mariah and her daughter's life upside-down.
Mariah tries to find out what is happening to her daughter as well as shelter her from the frenzy caused by the media.
Ian Fletcher is the newsman who broke the story about Faith and started out to expose her as a fraud. As he becomes involved with the White's, he begins believing that Faith may actually be God's messenger.
The novel has several different themes...religion, media, and child custody.
I have only read one other novel by Jodi Picoult, The Pact (excellent novel as well), but she is an auther whose talent is endless. She writes novels that are suspenseful, controversial, and powerful.
Everything about this book works, the characters, the pacing and the plot.
on August 20, 2000
In a nutshell, "Keeping Faith" is about a woman, Mariah, coping with her failed marriage and her low self-esteem, while her daughter, Faith, begins having conversations with her "guard" (GOD). The adults (doctors, Rabbis and Priests) try to determine if Faith is having real visions or whether Mariah is inculcating some sort of sickness on her daughter for attention. Meanwhile, Ian Fletcher, the national charismatic t.v. Atheist intervenes in Mariah and Faith's lives (along with other news media) springboarding Faith into national scrutiny. This is a very interesting book to read. "Keeping Faith" probes our deeply held beliefs and our societal values (with a court room drama). It also has romantic twists and turns. Plus, it captures daily struggles we all have and what it would be like to be an instant celebrity. I would recommend this book to my friends, as friends recommended it to me.
on September 26, 2001
I have nothing new to say about this book that hasn't already been said by the other reviews. It was, in a word, fabulous. I, too, get turned off by books that are overtly preachy and try to shove religious beliefs of one kind or another down the throat of the reader, but this book wasn't like that at all. This book made you think. To me, if a book is highly entertaining, with engaging, believable characters I can root for, and also makes you think, then that book has got something special. THE PACT was the first book of Picoult's that I have read, and I loved it and recommended it to everyone who would listen. I then proceeded to buy, beg, or steal copies of all the other books Picoult has written, and KEEPING FAITH is the last of those that I've read. Along with THE PACT and PLAIN TRUTH, I consider it her best. She is one very talented writer and I hope she'll keep giving us thoughtful books about difficult subjects.
on October 23, 2000
This is my second novel by Jodi Picoult, Plain Truth being my first. Both novels have such a great sense of reality that it makes it difficult to believe that I'm reading fiction and not a letter from a friend. In Keeping Faith, Mariah is an abandoned wife trying to deal with that loss at the same time her daughter Faith realizes she is being watched over and spoken to by God Herself (Faith sees a woman). The press catches wind of this, and immediately Mariah and Faith's lives are turned upside down. While Mariah takes Faith to various psychiatrists, Rabbis and priests, Mariah's ex-husband, Colin, decides that Faith is in imminent danger from her mother and takes Mariah to court for full custody of Faith. Fortunately, Mariah finds solace and friendship in a seemingly dangerous televangelist looking to disprove Faith's guardian. Overall, this is a great story of faith, forgiveness and growth. I highly recommend it!
on October 15, 2000
If Oprah wanted an interesting book about a divorced woman, this should have been the one. For every predictable ploy in Open House, we have mesmerizing and unthinkable events unfolding in Keeping Faith. At the same time , the pain Mariah feels upon discovering yet another betrayal by the man she had built her life upon, is palpable to the reader. Jodi Picoult has incredibly managed to inject a plethora of issues in our present-day society :media manipulation, faith healing, the health profession, dirty tricks and otherwise of the legal profession, religious manipulations, our spirituality and concepts of divinity [to name only a few]. Throughout it all, a woman struggles to keep afloat, and ultimately defines what truly matters in her life. It is a fascinating journey, impossible to put down, and will definitely be a selection in my book club. An imaginative writer with fascinating topics!