Matters of Faith

( 10 )

Overview

From the author of Catching Genius, a novel of a young man's search for faith-and its unintended consequences.

At age twelve, Marshall Tobias saw his best friend killed by a train. It was then that he began his search for faith-delving into one tradition, then discarding it for another. His parents, however, have little time for spiritual contemplation. Their focus has been on his little sister Megan, who suffers from severe food allergies. Now Marshall is home from college with...

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Matters of Faith

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Overview

From the author of Catching Genius, a novel of a young man's search for faith-and its unintended consequences.

At age twelve, Marshall Tobias saw his best friend killed by a train. It was then that he began his search for faith-delving into one tradition, then discarding it for another. His parents, however, have little time for spiritual contemplation. Their focus has been on his little sister Megan, who suffers from severe food allergies. Now Marshall is home from college with his first real girlfriend, but there is more to Ada than meets the eye-including her beliefs about the evils of medical intervention. What follows is a crisis that tests not only faith, but the limits of family, forgiveness, and our need to believe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this tense, well-paced novel about belief, Kiernan explores what happens when faith and love test the limits of family fealty. In southwest Florida, college student Marshall Tobias is in search of something to believe in. He thinks he's found God and the woman he's always dreamed of when he falls in love with fundamentalist believer Ada Sparks. But Ada's against medical intervention for illness, and tragedy results when she sets out to "help" Marshall's 12-year-old sister, Meghan, overcome her life-threatening allergies. Switching points-of-view between Marshall and his mother, Chloe, Kiernan (Catching Genius) movingly portrays a 20-year-old marriage gone flat and torn apart by crisis, a troubled son, a daughter hovering between life and death, and the hard-to-discern boundaries between true faith and unhealthy fanaticism. She handles her difficult material respectfully. Most interesting is her portrayal of the well-meaning traps parents fall into when encouraging open-ended exploration of faith without context, or choosing to remain silent. The thoughtful themes, interesting characters and page-turning drama of this novel will likely make it a book club favorite. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425221792
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/5/2008
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristy was born in Tennessee and raised on the beaches of southwest Florida, where she still resides with her husband, Richard, and their dog.

Her first novel, Catching Genius, was published in March of 2007 and has become a book club favorite. Her second novel, Matters of Faith, was published in August of 2008 and has garnered great review coverage.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2008

    A well written journey

    Matters of Faith grabbed me from page one and kept me reading late into the night. Kiernan is a master at telling a story and her ability to develop the characters and have them evolve over time is exquisite. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Touching

    Very touching and thought provoking.

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  • Posted January 30, 2009

    Kiernan's storytelling is exceptional

    Chloe is mom to 18-year-old Marshall and 12-year-old Meghan, and wife to Calvin. Her life is like any other with its daily challenges, but even she doesn¿t know what she¿ll do when her family¿s cohesiveness is put to an extreme test.<BR/><BR/>The novel opens with Chloe reflecting on how having a sixth sense would be helpful in noting the small things in life that become the catalyst to a major turning point. Hindsight is always educational, isn¿t it? <BR/><BR/>Marshall is coming home during college break and is bringing a girl, the first girl to meet the family. First impressions are not always the best and Chloe and Cal have different reasons for not readily accepting Ada. But Meghan and Ada become instant friends, so there¿s hope.<BR/> <BR/>The writing in Matters of Faith works with two distinct points of view that engage the reader in just the right way. Kiernan doesn¿t waste any words. She balances narrative with dialogue so the reader feels more like a fly on the wall of a real family instead of someone flipping pages. Kiernan¿s characters are unique individuals dealing with the typical daily life routine. And because of their `realness¿, the author is able to connect with a large audience. Like having a conversation with friends, Kiernan¿s writing challenges the reader to figure out what he or she would do given the same circumstances. Where many writers create characters that are black or white in their response, Kiernan¿s characters are unpredictable.<BR/><BR/>Kristy was born in Tennessee and raised on the beaches of southwest Florida, where she still resides with her husband, Richard, and their dog. Her first novel, Catching Genius, was published in March of 2007 and has become a book club favorite. Matters of Faith is her second novel. <BR/><BR/>From the opening lines in Matters of Faith until the final word, the reader becomes a witness during a small portion of time in one family¿s life. This novel doesn¿t jump out and grab you by the throat, instead it softly winds its way into your heart so you can¿t walk away. I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in a great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    Thought Provoking and compelling

    A wonderfully written book that I predict will be a top choice for book clubs and discussion groups. It avoids the predictable and challenges a reader to examine what they would do in a similar situation. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2008

    A good story

    When Marshall Tobias was twelve years old he watched his best friend Ira die in a horrific accident. He grieved his loss with the only solace he found coming from Ira¿s brownie making mom. Marshall questioned his faith and searched other paths, but all the jewelry he collected proved to be junk. His parents are upset with his condemnation of a God who would allow such a death, but Marshall will not bend.-------------------- He begins to turn to his girlfriend Ada¿s belief system in search of solace. Marshall brings Ada to meet his parents who are totally disenchanted with some of her radical thoughts especially when she espouses prayer and exposure therapy instead of medicine. They become irate when Marshall and Ada try to persuade his sister Meghan to pray for her heath rather than undergo medical treatment. The split family meets in court as her parents demand judicial intervention to insure their daughter receives proper medical care.------- This tale digs deep into A MATTER OF FAITH as readers learn how the two opposing camps feels about caring for Meghan¿s life threatening food allergies through the perspectives of Marshall and his mother Chloe each represents a side in the debate. The five prime characters come across genuine making the faith vs. medical science argument that much stronger fascinatingly Marshall seeking to fill his belief vacuum since Ira died has adopted Ada¿s contention, which adds to the overall strength of the novel. Kristy Kiernan provides a strong tale populated by real people divided over what to rely on.---------------- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted November 11, 2009

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