Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Monday, August 10, 2020

Faithful                                                                                   Author: Alice Hoffman                                                                    Published: November 2016 (Simon & Schuster)                                    Read: 07 August 2020 (Paperback)                                                 ISBN: 9781476799209                                                                         Pages: 258                                                                                         Genre: Fiction / Contemporary                                                         Recommend to:  Team Alice Hoffman, always. If you like messy and different characters. Slice-of- life stories, anti-heroes. If you want to contemplate a bit.                                                                                             Rating: 

Synopsis: Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last.  Goodreads


"Every story has the same message: what was deep inside could only be deciphered by someone who understood how easily a heart could be broken"

I believe in the power of books. I believe in the power of powerful authors, like Alice Hoffman. I also believe that books tell you when they want to be read. And you need to listen to that voice. I didn't do that. I was looking for a book that starts with an 'F' for my alphabet challenge and had this one on the shelf. One can never go wrong with an Alice Hoffman. Or can one? It was a toss up between this one and Fractured by Karin Slaughter. I should have kept my Alice Hoffman for a better time and mood.

I was just not ready, or rather, in the right set of mind, for Shelby Richmond. Pre-Lock Down 2020, I would have loved her messiness, her weirdness, her heart bigger than her screwed-up mind, and her truthfulness. Mid Lock Down 2020, I just feel like telling her that the world out there is currently a bit more messy than the mess in her parents' basement. 

"Alice Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds."

-Jodi Picoult

After a terrible car accident, Shelby Richmond finds herself broken and shattered, minus a best friend or a will to survive. She does to herself willingly, what most of us are forced to do unwillingly at the moment. She locks herself up in her parents' basement and isolates herself completely from the outside world. An alternate world yes, but one I most definitely don't like and simply struggle to understand. 

"Shelby dear, you survived. You had so many people vouching for you and doing everything possible to help you. You are young, you are beautiful. Don't do this to yourself. Keep your face upturned and glorious, like when you were a little girl. And please grow your hair." (That's me, mid lock down, trying to talk some sense to Shelby).

I do believe, the one thing that is keeping me sane during this time in our human history, is the same thing that helped Shelby restore some sanity - her pets. Thanks for rescuing them all, Shelby. But I know, they most likely rather rescued you. In your own way, you did manage to save a small part of the world. I don't agree with all your rescue methods, but I do know that your heart was in the right place. Now we just need to get your mind there as well.

I constantly find myself wanting to talk some sense into Shelby. I'm just about the same age as her mother when the accident happened. Maybe that's why.  I do hope that maybe Alice Hoffman would be so kind as to let us know you Shelby is doing in a couple of years. I believe she was heading on the right path at the end of the book and my thoughts and prayers (that I know she doesn't want, but will still receive) go with her. May you always keep those postcards, read and do them all at least once a year. You will be okay, Shelby.

"Say something"

"Be something"

"Feel something"

"See something"

"Save something"

"Believe something"

"Trust someone"


Also by Alice Hoffman: The Ice Queen

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