Book Review

Faithful – Alice Hoffman

Book Title: Faithful


Author: Alice Hoffman

Goodreads Link: Click here


Star Rating: gold stargold stargold stargold starempty star – Really good book. Recommended.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review.

A touching story of pain, loss, guilt and the struggle to move past it. Here is the description from Goodreads:

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.

Disaster can happen so quickly. One moment you’re young, happy, and nothing bad can touch you, and the next moment everything changes. You’re devastated by some accident.  Is it possible to recover? I found this book to be so heartfelt and sad. It’s a true to life depiction of how depression and sadness can permeate a life.  The ways depression colors the way you see everything.  This poor girl.  Shelby feels as though she is the cause of everything bad that’s happened or ever will happen to the people she loves.  She won’t even open a fortune cookie because she’s so afraid that the other shoe will drop, her future will be marred and she will be destroyed completely.

Whenever anyone says that people get what they deserve, Shelby turns away.  If that were true, she knows where she’d be right now, asleep and far away, cold to the touch, a dreamer who will never wake or rise from bed or kiss her beloved or lie to him and say, Yes, it’s true, the future is ours.

Oh this poor girl.  So despairing. But there’s hope for Shelby.  At heart she is a giving, loving person despite her suffering, and people around her (thankfully!) can see it. It’s going to be a long, slow mending though.

I enjoyed this book, because it is full of real moments … true to life emotions.  It isn’t like so many books of this kind, full of overwrought, over-the-top, unrealistic scenes and characters. Instead, it presents us with the things we all actually deal with every single day. It feels honest.  It’s a slice-of-life. A little dark grey cloud with a silver lining. I fully recommend it.

Song for this book: My Skin by Natalie Merchant


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