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Faithful: A Novel Hardcover – November 1, 2016
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PRAISE FOR FAITHFUL BY ALICE HOFFMAN
"Poignant...[Shelby's] snarky charm and well-hidden kindness draw you in....A deep truth this story reveals is that finding closure after great loss is not a one-time deal; life grows around such wounds in small increments over time."
“An emotionally resonant portrait of loss and rebirth.”
—People (Book of the Week select)
“Engaging and vivid...a satisfying, well-earned close.”
—The Boston Globe
"This is a luminous book that sucks you in...Allow plenty of time if you pick up Hoffman’s latest; you might not be able to put it back down."
"Deeply moving...[Hoffman] takes us deep into the human heart, and in a relatable story, deftly examines the healing process."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Bestselling author Alice Hoffman has done it again with her new novel, Faithful. Hoffman is an amazing storyteller who weaves us into the life of Shelby Richmond, an ordinary girl who becomes a remarkable young woman...There is that unique magic that Hoffman casts in all of her novels...Seriously, this is a novel for anyone who has faith."
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"This is a beautiful novel of a young woman finding her way after tragedy and keeping it real for the duration."
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Faithful is a beautiful novel about surviving and how we can forgive ourselves after the most difficult tragedies."
“Popular and prolific Hoffman brings her lavish inventiveness and deep empathy to the story of a young woman afflicted with survivor’s guilt who finds kindred spirits in New York City, along with a watchful angel.”
"Faithful will take you on an emotional ride."
“Hoffman being heartbreaking and magical.”
“Bittersweet and luminous, Hoffman's novel is a testament to the quiet power of small gestures and gradual redemption.”
“A novel full of people—flawed, scarred, scared—discovering how to punish themselves less and connect with others more.”
“Faithful is a poignant novel about grief, guilt, and recovery. Alice Hoffman is a wonderful storyteller.”
—Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Election, Little Children, and The Leftovers
Alice Hoffman is a spectacular writer—generous and compassionate, elegant and fierce—and FAITHFUL is both a sweeping page-turner and a gorgeous, heartbreaking exploration of family, faith, and love. This novel is as captivating as it is impossible to put down. I loved it."
—Molly Antopol, critically acclaimed author of The UnAmericans
About the Author
Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.
Top customer reviews
[NOTE: Apparaently some would like SPOILER ALERT if I reveal the first 20 pages, so... SPOILER ALERT].
Shelby and Helene are high school best friends. They wear matching bracelets. They do everything together. So when beautiful Helene is dumped by her boyfriend and wants to throw rocks through his window, Shelby reluctantly goes along and drives through the winter night. She hits a patch of ice and skids. Instead of turning into the skid (remember that from driver's ed?) she hits the brake. The car spins and collides. Shelby thinks she has died, but she suffers minor physical injuries. Helene is in a coma.
Helene is eventually moved to her home, and is thought to be the bestower of miracles, a sleeping beauty in Long Island. People line up to spend a moment in her presence, to hold her hand and perhaps be cured.
Shelby, meanwhile, is institutionalized. She stops speaking. She cuts herself. She shaves her head. She feels guilty for every bad thing that happens to others. She is convinced she causes bad things. She feels guilty and responsible for what happened to Helene.
Then one day she receives a mysterious postcard. It has a drawing and a simple message. "Say something."
Thus begins Shelby's slow climb back to life.
What makes it a great book. Well, since you asked...
10. Even in my deep cynicism, I believe that miracles happen. Alice Hoffman apparently believes this, too.
9. If I had to start on motherhood all over again, I would want to be exactly like Shelby's mother, who stands by her daughter through the deepest tragedies. She doesn't judge. She supports and finds beauty where others might see none. She is strong when she needs to be strong and gentle when she needs to be gentle.
8. One of the best portrayals of teenage angst, shown through Shelby's friend's daughter and understood by Shelby, who has clearly completed the AP Teenage Angst course.
7. Where does your soul go? Shelby wants to find out.
6. The writing is tender and sensitive without being mushy and trite.
5. The mystery of the postcards. Who is sending them? Why? How does the sender know what the next message needs to be?
4. Hoffman has the ability to make us feel the depths of despair and the glimmers of hope.
3. Can a stray dog (or cat) save your soul?
2. What is behind you is gone. What is in front of you awaits.
1. Through love and understanding and the goodness of humanity, we can be healed.
Okay. Enough tenderness and hope. I'm heading back to my usual literary diet of serial killers.
The novel, lyrical and descriptive, contains scenes of graphic violence as well as sensitive scenes of compassion and beauty. Hoffman’s depth of description projects views of the characters from different angles. The story centers on the impact of guilt, and the difference between love and devotion.
Let's just say I survived. My best friend did not.
I always always miss him around this time. His birthday and death are in 2 months.
Your characters teach. Make us understand what a human being goes through.
Judgment is always suspended.
I grew up reading your books. My name is aditi.
Thank you for writing books that I look forward to read.
You always exceed my expectations.
As far as the story goes....
This is a story of unconditional love. Loyalty and friendship.