Faith: A Novel

Faith: A Novel

4.0 152
by Jennifer Haigh
     
 

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"[Haigh is] an expertnatural storyteller with an acute sense of her characters' humanity." —NewYork Times
 
"We have the intriguing possibility that the nextgreat American author is already in print." —Fort Worth Star-Telegram
 
When Sheila McGann setsout to redeem her disgraced brother, a once-beloved CatholicSee more details below

Overview

"[Haigh is] an expertnatural storyteller with an acute sense of her characters' humanity." —NewYork Times
 
"We have the intriguing possibility that the nextgreat American author is already in print." —Fort Worth Star-Telegram
 
When Sheila McGann setsout to redeem her disgraced brother, a once-beloved Catholic priest in suburbanBoston, her quest will force her to confront cataclysmic truths about herfractured Irish-American family, her beliefs, and, ultimately, herself.Award-winning author Jennifer Haigh follows hercritically acclaimed novels Mrs. Kimbleand The Condition with a captivating,vividly rendered portrait of fraying family ties, and the trials of belief anddevotion, in Faith.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Haigh (Mrs. Kimble) explores the intersections of public scandal and personal tragedy in her superb fourth novel. Set in 2002 amid the sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the Catholic Church, and particularly the Boston archdiocese, Haigh's novel reaches far beneath the headlines to imagine the impact of allegations on one priest's family. Arthur Breen became a priest when such a career path was considered a logical, honorable choice for an intelligent young Catholic man. Sophisticated and worldly in many ways, utterly childlike in others, Arthur is unprepared to cope with secular life when he's accused of abusing a young boy and is subsequently asked to leave his parish. Arthur's younger half-sister, Sheila, in a quasi-omniscient style, narrates the complicated, devastating history that shaped Arthur's life, both personally and spiritually. Although this all-too-plausible story offers a damning commentary on the Church's flaws and its leaders' hubris, Haigh is concerned less with religious faith than with the faith Arthur's family has—and loses, and in some cases regains—in one another. At its broadest, this is a frank and timely story of familial and institutional heredity; at its most personal, the novel is a devastating portrait of a priest who discovers that he's also a man. (May)
Library Journal
The scandal regarding the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests continues on its ugly way, and Haigh (The Condition) doesn't make it any easier for us: she's written a novel that questions the guilt of a priest so charged. When older half-brother Art is accused of abusing a boy whose wayward mother he's tried to help, Sheila McGann returns to the suffocating Irish American home and community in Boston she had fled. Art has been shunned by the family, particularly brother Mike, who has several children and a cold, judgmental wife. To Sheila's horror, Mike condemns Art out of hand, even as he gets uncomfortably involved with the woman who has brought the suit against him. Beyond Art's denial, Sheila herself can't get him to articulate what really happened. VERDICT Initially, the story is told more blandly than one would expect from the fine Haigh, and the idea crawls uncomfortably around the reader's mind that she's soft-soaping the issue. By the end, though, the narrative is emotionally involving and ethically concise, reminding us that things are not always as they seem and that we must consider carefully how we judge others. Most fiction readers will want. [See Prepub Alert, 11/15/10.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
O magazine
“Luminous. . . . The novel has the magnetic, page-turning quality of a detective thriller, but the clues here lead not to objective proof but to insight into a family both vividly specific and astonishingly universal. . . . . Wise.”
Washington Post
“Both riveting and profound. . . . An incredibly suspenseful novel.”
New York Times
“Expertly wrought. . . . Ms. Haigh, a subtle, serious novelist who happens to have a flair for capturing troubled family dynamics, never allows FAITH to become predictable. . . . Gripping. . . . Substantial.”
Booklist (starred review)
“With an exquisite sense of drama and mystery, Haigh delivers a taut, well-crafted tale. . . . Indelibly rendered characters, suspenseful pacing, and fearless but sensitive handling of a controversial subject will make this a must-read for book discussion groups.”
More magazine
“A masterpiece of tension and tenderness.”
Self
“Haigh’s fourth novel draws you in. . . . You’ll be hypnotized until you know where it stops.”
Wall Street Journal
“FAITH is so emotionally rich, and its story so deftly delivered, that we’re absorbed.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062079367
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/10/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
68,602
File size:
1 MB

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