Author: Alice Hoffman
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: November 1st 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Finished reading: October 20th 2016
“People say if you face your worst fear, the rest is easy, but those are people who are afraid of rattlesnakes or enclosed spaces, not of themselves and the horrible things they’ve done.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I’m probably not the only one who has fallen in love with that gorgeous cover. As soon as I saw Faithful mentioned I was sold, and I’m grateful I was given the opportunity to read this little gem before it was published. I know there have been a lot of mixed reviews so far, but for me this story turned out to be just as good as the stunning cover. Despite my initial doubts about the possible amount of drama, this new novel by Alice Hoffman turned out to be a really interesting read. I found the story to be especially well written and the prose has convinced me I need to pick up more of her work soon. The characters are well developed and realistic, which is a huge bonus for any book in this genre. And even though Shelby is not exactly likeable as a character, you grow to love her anyway. Sure, I can understand why some people might have a problem with the way she behaves and part of the plot in general, but it is without doubt an intriguing story on how grief and guilt can change a person and how hard it is to move on. Faithful is filled with raw emotions, beautiful prose and second chances; a moving and realistic contemporary read with a main character that you will manage to endear you, flaws and all.
Shelby Richmond is just another ordinary girl with a seemingly perfect life along with her best friend Helene. Then one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate forever… A car accident destroys her best friend’s future and leaves Helene in a coma, while Shelby walks away practically unscratched. She almost drowns in her guilt, feeling that it should have been her instead. Shelby thinks she is paying her penance by stop living her own life and hiding in the basement, but some day she will have to start finding her way in the world again. She will have to fight her way back to her own future… And she will find out she isn’t as alone in the world as she might think.
I wasn’t completely sure whether this book would be my cup of tea, but Alice Hoffman has convinced me I can enjoy a story with a healthy dose of drama in it. What really stands out in Faithful is the excellent character development and beautiful prose. Sure, the main character can be a bit of a tool and you might not find everything that happens to her in New York believable, but Shelby managed to win me over anyway. Give this book a chance if you like the genre!