Friday, June 11, 2010

Keeping Faith

I've had Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult sitting on my bookshelf for awhile.  As I was reading it, I decided to have my own personal reading marathon and read the rest of the Jodi Picoult books I own.  I thought this would be a good way to plow through the books I own but haven't read yet.

Keeping Faith is the story of  Mariah and Faith White.  Mariah's marriage ends after she discovers her husband's affair.  As if coping with this wasn't bad enough, Faith begins exhibiting strange behaviors, like saying God talks to her. 

  Cover: The cover of Keeping Faith was quite beautiful. It was simple, and yet I felt it conveyed a lot of emotion. My edition had an image of a young child wrapped up in someone's arms. Without being able to see the other person's face, it made me wonder who was holding that child. Once I began reading the book, I found more meaning in this cover. Was the child being held by her mother, father, or God?

Characters: The main characters were Mariah White, Faith White, Colin White, Millie Epstein, and Ian Fletcher. Mariah is a weak woman who has been broken by her husband's antics but still seeks out his approval and love. I felt she measured her self-worth through the approval of others and craved routines and perfection. Faith White is a typical child who is suddenly put between her parents and develops a special gift. Throughout it all, though, she maintains the innocence of a child. Colin White is Faith's father and Mariah's husband (ex-husband). He has been the catalyst for problems in Mariah's life, and one might argue, set off the gift that Faith develops. Millie Epstein is Mariah's mother. She's a strong, outspoken woman who cares for her daughter and granddaughter deeply. Ian Fletcher is a teleatheist ( I know, it sounds weird). He makes a living trying to get others to accept that God doesn't exist. He has some sneaky qualities but shows some endearing ones later on.

Writing: I thought Picoult's writing was lovely. She did such an amazing job at conveying Mariah's feelings, whether they were regarding her husband, daughter, or herself. It was easy to imagine what she was going through. I also thought she did a wonderful job expressing what Faith was experiencing, feeling, and thinking. At times, there was some dialogue from Faith that I thought sounded a little old for a 7 year old. But from working with kids, I know it's possible.

Plot: The plot of the story had a general predictability to it. Husband cheats and leaves his wife. Family falls apart. Child has some sort of difficulty. What I liked about this story, though, was that Faith's difficulty was unique. It wasn't the typical behaviors one might see in a child whose parents have divorced. I also liked the way Mariah changed from the beginning of the book. I don't want to give too much away, but her growth was different than what I'd expected. I've always enjoyed that Picoult's books have a main topic that is typically one that causes debates. In this book, it was the existence of God. As an atheist myself, I found it extremely interesting to read about all of the different viewpoints regarding God. There were many characters that believed and many that didn't. I also liked that a simple answer was never given. It's still left up to the reader to have his or her own beliefs.

Overall: 4/5 I really liked this book. It kept me interested all along the way and also caused me to think about things in new ways. The characters were easy to care about, especially little Faith. Once again, another tough topic tackled in a unique and clever way.

No comments:

Post a Comment