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Keeping Faith

Cover of Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith

"A triumph. This novel's haunting strength will hold the reader until the very end and make Faith and her story impossible to forget."
—Richmond Times Dispatch

"Extraordinary."
—Orlando Sentinel

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes, Change of Heart, Handle with Care) comes Keeping Faith: an "addictively readable" (Entertainment Weekly) novel that "makes you wonder about God. And that is a rare moment, indeed, in modern fiction" (USA Today).

"A triumph. This novel's haunting strength will hold the reader until the very end and make Faith and her story impossible to forget."
—Richmond Times Dispatch

"Extraordinary."
—Orlando Sentinel

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes, Change of Heart, Handle with Care) comes Keeping Faith: an "addictively readable" (Entertainment Weekly) novel that "makes you wonder about God. And that is a rare moment, indeed, in modern fiction" (USA Today).

Available formats-
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Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    780
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you


Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth

    Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.

    -- John Milton, Paradise Lost

    There are certain things I do not talk about.

    Like when I was thirteen, and I had to take my dog and have her put to sleep. Or the time in high school that I got all dressed up for the prom and sat by the window, waiting for a boy who never came. Or the way I felt when I first met Colin.

    Well, I talk a little about that, but I don't admit that from the beginning I knew we were not meant to be together. Colin was a college football star; I'd been hired by his coach to tutor him to pass French. He kissed me- shy, plain, scholarly--on a dare from his teammates, and even muddled by embarrassment, it left me feeling gilded.

    It is perfectly clear to me why I fell in love with Colin. But I have never understood what made him fall for me.

    He told me that when he was with me, he became someone different-a person he liked better than the easygoing jock, the good ol' fraternity boy. He told me that I made him feel admired for what he was instead of what he'd done. I argued that I wasn't a match for him, not tall or stunning or sophisticated enough. And when he disagreed, I made myself believe him.

    I don't talk about what happened five years later, when I was proved right.

    I don't talk about the way he could not look me in the eye while he was arranging to have me locked away.

    Opening my eyes is a Herculean effort, Swollen and grainy, they seem resolved to stay sealed shut, preferring not to risk the sight of something else that might turn the world on end. But there is a hand on my arm, and for all I know it might be Colin, so I manage to slit them enough that the light, sharp as a splinter, comes into view. "Mariah", my mother soothes, smoothing my hair back from my forehead. "You feeling better?"

    "No." I am not feeling anything. Whatever Dr. Johansen prescribed over the phone makes it seem as if there's a foam cushion three inches thick around me, a barrier that moves with me and flexes and manages to keep the worst away.

    "Well, it's time to get moving," my mother says, matter-of-fact. She leans forward and tries to haul me from the bed.

    "I don't want to take a shower." I try to curl into a ball.

    "Neither do I." My mother grunts. The last time she'd come into the room, it was to drag me into the bathroom and under a cold spray of water. "You're going to sit up, damn it, if it sends me to an early grave."

    That makes me think of her coffin table, and of the ballet lesson Faith and I never did manage to get to three days ago. I pull away from her grasp and cover my face, fresh tears running like wax. "What is the matter with me?"

    "Absolutely nothing, in spite of what that cretin wants you to believe." My mother puts her hands on my burning cheeks. "This is not your fault, Mariah. This isn't something you could have stopped before it happened. Colin isn't worth the ground he walks on." She spits on the carpet, to prove it. "Now sit up so that I can bring Faith in here."

    That gets my attention. "She can't see me like this."

    "So, change."

    "It's not that easy-"

    "Yes, it is," my mother insists. "It's not just you this time, Mariah. You want to fall apart? Fine, then-do it after you've seen Faith. You know I'm right, or you wouldn't have called me to come over here and take care of her three days ago." Staring at me, she softens her voice. "She's got an idiot for a father, and she's got you. You make what you want of that."

    For a second I let hope sneak through the cracks in my armor. "Did she ask for me?"

    My mother hesitates. "No ... but that's neither here nor there." As she goes to get Faith, I adjust the...

About the Author-
  • Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister's Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 3, 1999
    Fans of Picoult's fluent and absorbing storytelling will welcome her new novel, which, like Harvesting the Heart, explores family dynamics and the intricacies of motherhood, and concludes, as did The Pact, with tense courtroom drama. In the small town of New Canaan, N.H., 33-year-old Mariah discovers that her husband, Colin, is having an affair. Years ago, his cheating drove Mariah to attempt suicide and Colin had her briefly committed to an institution. Now Mariah's facing divorce and again fighting depression, when her eight-year-old daughter, Faith, suddenly acquires an imaginary friend. Soon this friend is telling the girl how to bring her grandmother back from the dead and how to cure a baby dying of AIDS. As Faith manifests stigmata, doctors are astounded, and religious controversy ensues, in part because Faith insists that God is a woman. An alarmed Colin sues for custody of Faith, and the fear of losing her daughter dramatically changes meek, diffident Mariah into a strong, protective and brave woman--one who fights for her daughter, holds her own against doctors and lawyers and finds the confidence to pursue a surprising new romance with TV atheist Ian Fletcher, cynical "Spokesman of the Millennium Generation." Though the novel feels a bit long, Picoult's pacing stabilizes the increasingly complicated plot, and the final chapters, in which Mariah fights for Faith's custody in court, are riveting. The mother-daughter relationship is all the more powerful for being buffeted by the exploitative and ethically questionable domains of medicine, media, law and religion; these characters' many triumphant transformations are Picoult's triumphs as well. Agent, Laura Gross.

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