Good Faith

Good Faith

by Jane Smiley
3.2 10

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Good Faith by Jane Smiley

Greed. Envy. Sex. Property. In her subversively funny and genuinely moving new novel, Jane Smiley nails down several American obsessions with the expertise of a master carpenter.

Forthright, likable Joe Stratford is the kind of local businessman everybody trusts, for good reason. But it’s 1982, and even in Joe’s small town, values are in upheaval: not just property values, either. Enter Marcus Burns, a would-be master of the universe whose years with the IRS have taught him which rules are meant to be broken. Before long he and Joe are new best friends—and partners in an investment venture so complex that no one may ever understand it. Add to this Joe’s roller coaster affair with his mentor’s married daughter. The result is as suspenseful and entertaining as any of Jane Smiley’s fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400040650
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/22/2003
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 378,599
File size: 964 KB

About the Author

Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Thousand Acres and more than ten other works of fiction, including Horse Heaven, Moo, and The Greenlanders. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in northern California.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


Northern California

Date of Birth:

September 26, 1949

Place of Birth:

Los Angeles, California


B.A. in English, Vassar College, 1971; M.A., Iowa University, 1975; M.F.A, 1976; Ph.D., 1978

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Good Faith 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Good for the beach.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HHHug More than 1 year ago
This novel, written before the current economic troubles, seems unusually relevant now as the reader watches greed of all types trump the family value of keeping good faith with those around you. While it is well written, the novel is less satisfactory than the author's other books: Moo (for humor) and Thousand Acres (environmentally themed drama).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the book, Good Faith,and I love the author called Jane Smiley. This tale is quite simply a fortunate tale of real estate, and I being so profounldy deepened to the subject of real estate, established this book is the very best book of 2004. I call Jane Smiley the 'Best Author in the World.' Claps and Snaps if you agree! Email me so we may have the fortunate way of discussing this god given author. Thanks and Be Merry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Smiley is a wonderful author. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the previous books, but this was a real disappointment. Perhaps it was simply that I do not have much interest in the real estate business. However, I could not find much to enjoy in these characters either. I will, however, look forward to her next book, and will no doubt still be a fan of her writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interesting subject, charming character studies, and very readable. Having lived through the period this book describes, its outcome is predictable and given the pace of the book, quite abrupt. The out-of-control S&L in the background of this story could have been better developed but would have been beyond the narrator's depth. As a case of people caught up in events that drive them to actions that are out of character, it is well-done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I consider Jane Smiley a great writer, which made Good Faith all the more disappointing. It's not that the author doesn't have a decent story going, or a solid look at the strange morality of the Reagan era. She does. What she doesn't have here is a good choice of narration style. Joe Stratford, a New Jersey real estate agent with one year of college narrates this story in the vocabulary of a boring Ivy League (and female)English professor. He uses the word 'ebulient' twice (just as one example) and lacks any form of male motivation or style. Though the other characters are often well-drawn, the unbelievability of the main character sunk this book for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great to see Jane Smiley back. An enjoyable read. It felt like life. Likable characters. Funny. Witty. Haven't read her since Thousand Acres. Couldn't get thru Moo. Decided to give her another go and was delighted.
lackeydaisical More than 1 year ago
Jane Smiley tells an interesting story in Good Faith, moving solidly from start to finish. Her character development is strong, and I bonded with not only the main characters, but also the secondary personalities. This was a book I looked forward to getting back to when other things demanded my attenion. I've read other works by Smiley, and I will be looking for more to enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get through it. I read 4-5 books a month...I couldn't suffer through this one. I'm glad 'Good Faith' wasn't required reading. This is the only book I can recall giving up on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I first thought the subject matter held little chance for interesting fiction, Ms. Smiley quickly proved my first impression wrong. The characters in this book are fresh and as real as can be, which easily pull the reader into their schemes and plans. A very good book that makes me want to go back and read previous books by the author.