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Faith: A Novel (P.S.) by Jennifer Haigh

Faith: A Novel (P.S.) (edition 2012)

by Jennifer Haigh

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6226015,644 (3.98)13
Title:Faith: A Novel (P.S.)
Authors:Jennifer Haigh
Info:Harper Perennial (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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Faith by Jennifer Haigh


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I can't imagine a more perfect novel. I think having taken it in as audio only enhanced the experience. Here's a question for readers: Is Haigh, Sheila? For my part, I think Sheila represents some aspects of Haigh, especially the Faith and spiritual elements. I think a Roman Catholic can be much aggrieved about the priest scandal, and still embrace the Church. I think one of the messages Haigh delivers is to the Church hierarchy: Reform; allow married priests. After all it's a feature of the early church. My thought is the more the Church resembles the early church, the better.

( )
  morieel | Oct 25, 2015 |
I found this to be a pretty good book. It's ostensibly a story about pedophilia in the Catholic church in the Boston area. That would be only minimally interesting to me, but what captured my attention was the fact that it was really a story of the family relationships of one Catholic priest accused of 'molesting' a child with whom he had formed a friendship. Family relationships interest me and they all have their particular contexts that have a role in determining the nature of the relationships. Why are some fathers more influential than others? Why are some siblings close...or not? Do you trust your siblings? Do you know your siblings any better than other people do? This book explores these issues in a story that I found entirely believable. Families seem to be Ms Haigh's focus (here, as in "The Condition"), and she does a good job of painting a family portrait with all the shades of grey. ( )
  oldblack | Oct 20, 2014 |
The way this story is told allows the reader to discover the truth about Art alongside his sister, Sheila. Although Art is only seen through others' eyes, the picture that is created is one of a man doing his best in a world that was more complicated than he thought he could understand. Thought-provoking. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Sep 28, 2014 |
The Dinosaur Feather. S. J. Gazan. 2008. This Danish mystery is not a great one, but reading about Danish academia and government social services is fascinating. Ana Bella Nor is a single mother who is finishing up her dissertation and is within weeks of taking her oral examination when her thesis advisor is murdered. Suspects are numerous and Ana is one of the numbered. However she eventually begins to work with the detective in charge to identify the murderer. Suspects include Ana’s office mate who belongs to a strange cross dressing group and the wife. A Canadian professor who believes that Ana and the rest of the scientific world is incorrect in thinking that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Before the murderer is identified we learn more than we need to know about the bird/dinosaur evolution controversy. However there are worthwhile lessons the devastating effects of family secrets and loyalty. ( )
  judithrs | Aug 17, 2014 |
Sheila grew up in a respectable Irish-American household near Boston. Her older half brother even became a priest, a great source of pride for her mother, although her father, now falling into dementia after a lifetime of alcoholism, has never had much respect for the Church. Then her brother is accused of molesting a child.

Jennifer Haigh is good at bringing out the nuance of situations and creating complex characters. In this she reminds me of Tom Perrotta; she never takes the expected path. In Faith she's taken a controversial topic that everyone has strong opinions about and tells a story, not of monsters and victims, but of damaged, complicated people with histories and reasons. And all without having written anything that feels exploitative. [Faith] is also a vivid picture of a specific place and culture. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Jul 25, 2014 |
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It's a fight you'll never win
And now you bow your head in shame
For a sin no one forgives

-- Dropkick Murphys, "This Is Your Life"

He lives for God, who lives by the Rule. -- St. Benedict
For Jimmy, my first friend
First words
Here is a story my mother has never told me.
Love to marriage to home and family: connect those dots, and you get the approximate shape of most people's lives. Take them away, and you lose any hope for connection. You give up your place in the world.
In his view, no eight-year-old has mastered the cheap ruses of adulthood. When kids lie, they don't want to be believed; their deepest wish is to be known and understood. For my brother this is a point of faith; a child will tell the truth if he feels safe and accepted. All you have to do is gain his trust.
It was a thing I had always known but until recently had forgotten: that faith is a decision. In its most basic form, it is a choice.
As always, her worries seemed larger at night. It happens to us all, Father Art had once told her. The dark night of the soul.
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Book description
Your brother is the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. He finds himself at the centre of a very public scandal, and he refuses to defend himself. You believe he is innocent; but your younger brother believes he is guilty.

Could you keep the faith?
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Sheila McGann is estranged from her complicated family. But when her older brother Art, pastor of a large suburban parish, finds himself at the center of a scandal, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him. Her strict mother lives in a state of angry denial; her younger brother Mike has already convicted his brother in his heart. But most disturbing of all is Art himself, who persistently dodges Sheila's questions and refuses to defend himself.… (more)

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