book review: Faith by Jennifer Haigh

Faith: A NovelThe backstory: In my pre-blogging days, I read Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh and really enjoyed it. I didn't track my reading in my early post-college days, but it's one of those novels I remember specific scenes from, so I was eager to read Haigh's latest novel, Faith.

My thoughts: Faith puts a very human face on the issue of priest abuse. We hear about Art, who is accused of abusing a young boy, through his sister Sheila. It's an interesting narrative device to hear Art's story through someone else, but I appreciated it. It's a powerful narrative device and questions the very nature of story and how the storyteller shapes the audience's perceptions and knowledge. I also appreciated sharing the journey with Sheila. She shared my desire to know what happened. At some point, however, my desire as a reader shifted and the why became so much more important than the what.

The verdict: I adored Faith, and it's a tribute to Haigh's writing and scope of characters and story that I have so little to say about it. It's deeply contemplative, and I expect to still be thinking of these characters and the implications of this story for years to come, just as I have Mrs. Kimble. It's a rich and layered novel that would be excellent for book clubs.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 336 pages
Publication date: May 10, 2011
Source: I received a copy from the publisher via TLC Book Tours

Want more opinions? The entire tour schedule is here. Convinced? Treat yourself to Faith from Amazon in hardback or for the Kindle.

As an affiliate, I receive a very, very small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!


  1. I need to read this one soon. Am hearing such good things about it. Have it on my Kindle. Now to find the time. Love your word contemplative about this book. That says a lot.

  2. Having just read a couple of great reviews on this, my interest has been piqued, and after reading yours, I am adding this one to the wish list right away. Thanks for the great review. I can't wait to get to it!

  3. This one does sound like quite an interesting novel. I'm glad that the chance the author took with the narrative device paid off. Says a lot about Haigh's talent as a writer.

  4. I've seen nothing but raves for this book -- the topic makes me apprehensive but I do love contemplative, quiet novels -- and for you to be rendered speechless in a way is very promising!

  5. Wow, looks like you REALLY enjoyed this one. Don't you love it when a book leaves you speechless (or, I guess "wordless" would be better here? LOL).

    Thanks for being a part of this tour. I'm glad the book turned out to be so fantastic!

  6. I'm going to Book Expo America next week as saw that Jennifer Haigh will be signing copies of Faith. After reading glowing reviews, I can't wait to get a copy!

  7. Haigh is one of my favorite authors so I'm glad to see you liked her latest so much. I'm looking forward to reading it myself soon.

  8. I've also seen good reviews of this one around. I think I would be attracted by the cover alone!

  9. I just posted as review on this one yesterday. I liked it a lot as well.

  10. I am almost done with this book and I don't want it to end - it is so well done. Definitely makes me want to read more by Haigh.


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