Faithful by Alice Hoffman
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.
I feel the need ‘introduce’ this review with an explaination. This is a review that was written BEFORE the book released on Nov. 1st, 2016. I orginally published it in August of 2016. Due to the blog issues, I am republishing it so that it is on my blog again. It is still up and avaliable on my Goodreads account.
I am trying my best to put this review down on paper, but I am worried I am going to fail it. For me to completely finish this book, it too me two days. Mommy life is crazy busy and hectic, but I loved it so very much. It’s worth every star to me. I guess I need to start with a warning to PARENTS. If you are considering letting your kid (any age up to 18 is a kid in my opinion) read this, please read it yourself first. It deals with: Rape, sex, sexual references, drug use, alcohol use, depression, suicidal thoughts, broken families, and other mature themes that I may not have mentioned. As an adult, I really liked this book. I am not sure of the age I would feel okay with letting my daughter read this novel though, I suppose in around 12-17 years though, I’ll know.
It starts out with an accident. Fuzzy memories. Shelby is the driver and her best friend Helene is the passenger. Shelby is left with survivors guilt while Helene is left in a coma. She manages to gets locked up in a mental ward, Due to some tragic events that take place at the ward,, her mother breaks her free and brings her home to live in the basement. She starts doing minor drugs (pot) and then eventually sometimes she sneaks into her parent’s medicine cabinet. Her father is absent a lot, he says he is working. As the story progresses things happen and she ends up moving to New York. She rescues two dogs, then adds a third. I love how the story uses the dogs to help her heal.
Being as this novel isn’t released yet, I cannot quote to you any of my favorite quotes within the book, but I have twenty-five marked and ready to share with you as soon as I can. I loved this book. It’s on my favorites list and I am going to try to explain why. This story is a coming of age story. It even starts out feeling like a young adult novel, but it moves up into something that is more contemporary women’s fiction. As someone who has felt out of control and down a few times in my lifestyle, I felt myself relating to Shelby at times. I never lost myself quiet as bad as she managed to, but a few times I’ve felt close.
This story is an emotional journey from beginning to end. I felt myself smiling, sad, straight up crying and sometimes I just found myself extremely angry. Mental illnesses are not a joke . I loved seeing this novel portray them in a way that is super realistic. I love how everything wasn’t all lovey-dovey, happy all the time. It was real, it was dark at times and happy at others. It very realistically portrayed something that could have very well been a true story. This is a must read for me. If you like Contemporary Fiction or a good coming of age novel, you should definitely pick it up.