- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
- Paperback: 325 pages
- Publisher: Speak (May 13, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142414131
- ISBN-13: 978-0142414132
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,908,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Faithful Paperback – May 13, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–It's May of 1904, and 16-year-old Maggie Bennet should be planning her debut into Newport society. Unfortunately, her father has other plans. He takes her to Yellowstone National Park, following a lead on Maggie's mother, who disappeared the year before and is presumed dead. Upon their arrival, Papa reveals that they are broke and he has taken a job as architect at the park. As Maggie tries to start a new life and piece together the mystery of her mother's connection to Yellowstone, she is torn between her conflicting desires. She longs to take her proper place in society, something offered by George Graybull, the rich and powerful but arrogant and shallow older man who is courting her. At the same time, she wants freedom and true love, represented by Tom, the kind but poor son of a geologist. The story follows Maggie's struggle to overcome her own prejudices and society's limitations. The wilderness of Yellowstone, which is lovingly and beautifully depicted, reflects her inner turmoil and yearning for freedom, deemed madness in her bohemian mother. Though the style doesn't always ring true to the period and the plot and characterization sometimes lack subtlety, the gradual revelation of the truth about Maggie's mother, the developing relationship between Maggie and Tom, and the thrilling episodes sprinkled throughout will engage readers.Erin Carrillo, formerly at Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Maggie wants to fit into Newport society, which would be an easier task if her mother were more conventional. It is the early 1900s, and young ladies of her class are mainly concerned with debutante life and finding wealthy husbands. Then Mama suddenly disappears, and Papa uproots Maggie—moving west for a new life and some clues about his wife's past. Yellowstone holds some of those clues, and what the resistant Maggie finds in Wyoming is nothing like the caste society and rules she knew before. Romance and actual cliff-hangers ensue as family secrets unfold and new adventures and interesting people catch her fancy. She struggles to reconcile with Papa and his burdens, but mainly Maggie wants to make choices about her future and move away from narrow societal constraints of women's roles. Fox combines mystery, romance, and a young girl's coming-of-age in this satisfying historical tale. Grades 7-10. --Anne O'Malley
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Top Customer Reviews
Plot: I have not read a book based in the older times. You know, cowboys on horses days. It was very interesting and held me quickly. I love historical romance, so this was indeed the perfect book for me. After reading the first book I just knew I had to keep in reading. The plot had lots of drama as well as bread pieces for me to kept following. It leads to more plot twists and a read that left me giddy.
Love: Since this book is based back in the older days, romance was a bit different. I REALLY like it. Call me old fashion but I love the whole idea of actually getting to know the person vs now and days where people skip that part and go straight to be bedroom. I love the dinners, parties, and of course the time period alone.
Ending: This book carried itself beautifully. I adore the way it ended and became excited when I found out there is a second book. I really love how beautifully every word was written and how well it came together.
This is a great historical read! I have discovered another author whom I’m excited to read more books from. Faithful is a fantastic yet thrilling read. Filled with love and loss, Faithful is great.
Maggie was a character that I had a hard time connecting with. I understand that Maggie had lived a rather sheltered life in Rhode Island-- spending time with people who cared more about fancy clothes and rich husbands than anything else-- but I wish she became more likable. Maggie's mother disappears and her father brings her out west to the beautiful Yellowstone National Park. While I understand Maggie's trepidation at first, it seems she never really became the brave and likable character I had hoped for. She did have some incredible experiences and proved herself several times in difficult situations and I applaud her for certain decisions she made, but I never felt that connection with Maggie I had hoped for.
The setting was marvelous and it is apparent that Janet Fox is very familiar with the park and did quite a bit of research. As someone who has been to Yellowstone many times I can attest to how incredible it is and I can only imagine how interesting it must have been to be a visitor to the Park in the early 1900s. The plot, while occasionally stunted by too many flashbacks, was very fast moving and Maggie experienced all kinds of adventures in the Park and met a variety of interesting people. Seeing how different characters viewed the Park and its animal inhabitants was a part of the book I especially liked and it was nice seeing Maggie begin to appreciate the wild animals and the beauty of every aspect of the Park.
There were quite a few unique secondary characters and some particularly stood out to me, while some fell a little flat. I never truly felt the appeal of Tom, even though he did share a similar view with me on the Park and was a very adventurous and kind guy. I think for me, I didn't fully understand his and Maggie's relationship so that turned me off from his character a little bit. Kula is one character I am particularly interested in hearing more about (and I know the sequel to Faithful, Forgiven, follows Kula so I am looking forward to that).
All in all, Faithful was a very well-written novel that took place in the wondrous Yellowstone and tackled a variety of social issues, but the downfall for me was the characters. I will definitely still give future books by Janet a chance because I like her writing style and knack for picking out intriguing settings, but Faithful ended up not living up to my expectations.
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
Historical fiction is not my favorite, but I wanted to read Janet Fox's YA debut since she's frequented my blog. (Two years later and I'm still excited that people actually read this thing.) I do like how Fox uses the setting of 1904 Montana. She does bring in historical society as well as sensory details.
Maggie makes important connections to other women. Her mother never fit into society, and Maggie was partially isolated by the gossip. But now she's working with Mrs. Gale, a widowed photographer, and trying to be friends with Kula, a servant. She's discovering hidden parts of herself that she likes and others that she's less thrilled by.
I enjoyed Maggie's voice. FAITHFUL starts slowly, as Maggie accepts other's words at face value and allows her father to control her life. But it works, as things begin to move faster once Maggie discovers the pleasure in asserting herself. She's a strong female character even if she couldn't win a fistfight.
History and animal lovers will probably enjoy FAITHFUL. Those sold on the romance between Maggie and Tom might be somewhat disappointed by the percentage of the book devoted to the relationship, but should still be satisfied because it is sweet.
From In Bed With Books