Faith: A Novel

The novel Faith by Jennifer Haigh is one of those books you find you can’t put down.  It builds slowly in the beginning and builds momentum.  Once I reached halfway through the novel I had a hard time breaking away from the book.  There were times I cried as I was reading – the characters get in your head and you need to unravel the question of whether the brother, Art, really did the horrible things of which he is accused.

The basic plot is set in Boston in 2002 as the Catholic priest scandal is unfolding.  The narrator’s brother, Art, is accused of molesting a child.  The rest of the family struggles to deal with the allegations and what to think of Art, who is silent on the matter.  Art struggles do deal with life tossed out of the only world he’s known since he was a teenager.  It reminded me in many ways of Doubt.

I was living in Boston when this scandal broke and I really appreciated the perspective of the family of an accused priest and all the complexity behind the headlines.  With so many allegations coming out at once, it was easy to lump them all together and assume guilt.

This was a really well written book with amazing characters.  As much as the topic was disturbing, it was an enjoyable read and I think it will stick with me for some time to come.

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