Keeping Faith, by Jodi Picoult (1999)

Keeping FaithKeeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jodi Picoult's "Keeping Faith" was an enigmatic read for me. I liked most of the characters, and I liked the main premise.

One day, Mariah White is driving her seven year-old daughter, Faith, to ballet. Lo, and behold, her ballet uniform had been forgotten. So they drove home. In the driveway was Colin White's car--the husband and father, respectively, was evidently home early from a business trip. They heard the sound of the shower upstairs, and went up to greet Colin. Following Colin out of the bathroom was another woman.

So "Keeping Faith" follows the story of Mariah & Colin's divorce. The main thrust, however, is what happens to their daughter, Faith.

The White family was essentially non-religious. Mariah is a non-observant Jew, which makes Faith Jewish, at least in the eyes of Judaism. This distinction doesn't matter, because they don't really have any religion--not even a Bible in the house. So imagine everyone's shock when Faith begins performing miracles, seeing visions of God (God is a woman, according to Faith), and quoting Scripture she would never have heard. The clincher was when Faith's grandmother--Mariah's mother--had a heart attack and died. The paramedics couldn't revive her at the scene. She was pronounced dead at the hospital, and she was clinically dead for over an hour. Then Faith climbed up on her Grandmother's bed, kissed her on the lips, and grandma sprang back to life, with the heart of an 18 year old.

From then on--through the months leading up to the custody hearing--hundreds of journalists and pilgrims gathered outside the White's house, waiting for the next miracle. Among those journalists was America's foremost Atheist personality. Naturally, he wants to debunk the seven year-old supposed prophet. Things happen, unlikely romances spring forth, and we finally get to the big custody hearing.

Again, I liked nearly all of the characters in "Keeping Faith," and I liked most of the action. But the book felt flat to me, sort of perfunctory. Considering the potential implications--OMG! GOD IS DEMONSTRABLY WORKING THROUGH THIS LITTLE GIRL--there wasn't much excitement. There were so many juicy ideas and themes in "Keeping Faith." Sadly, it ended up as dry and bland as a Communion wafer.

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About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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