Sunday, 8 March 2015

Keeping Faith - Jodi Picoult; Review


Book Details:
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (20th Mar 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0340960558
ISBN-13: 978-0340960554
Source: Review/Purchased/Gift

When the marriage of Mariah White and her cheating husband, Colin, turns ugly and disintegrates, their seven-year-old daughter, Faith, is there to witness it all. In the aftermath of a rapid divorce, Mariah falls into a deep depression -- and suddenly Faith, a child with no religious background whatsoever, hears divine voices, starts reciting biblical passages, and develops stigmata. And when the miraculous healings begin, mother and daughter are thrust into the volatile centre of controversy and into the heat of a custody battle -- trapped in a mad media circus that threatens what little stability the family has left. 

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I really do hate not having anything new on the blog. So today, I have ventured in to my archive and thought to write a review for one of my favourite books ever (after The Shadow of The Wind of course). This is an author many of you may be familiar with, some will love like I do, some may hate as I know many others do. I am talking about, Jodi Picoult. Keeping Faith, 19 Minutes, and Second Glance are 3 of my long adored books by her, and today I’ll let you in on why you need to read Keeping Faith and why it’s so freaking amazing. 

Jodi isn’t afraid to take on and shed light on topics that can cause controversy or at the very least provide an interesting ground for discussion. Keeping Faith revolves around quite simply, faith, in all its forms and manifestations. After Mariah finds out her husband is cheating on her, it seems like everything is collapsing around her - the only anchor being her 7 year old daughter, Faith. When Faith starts to have divine visions, develops stigmata and other mysterious, religious afflictions, the whole world has suddenly turned their eye on Faith. Amidst all this, Mariah battles the media, religious figures, doctors, psychiatrists in an effort to protect her daughter. In the middle of all this, is the haunting question - is 7 year old Faith, from a Jewish background no less, seeing God? What does it really mean to have faith?

The story is deliciously complex and built of many layers, stories, tales, all which come together to produce this stunning novel. As a practicing Muslim myself, I’m insanely fascinated by other religious and branches of belief and this book explored many areas of religion that piqued my interest. As a human it makes you wonder about divinity, about forces out of our control - if something can’t be explained by science, does it make it a miracle? 

Jodi Picoult manages to explore all these questions in a respectful manner, without stepping too far but enough to engage the reader. Her writing is brilliant, spellbinding and poetic and is guaranteed to capture your interest from the first page.

The characters she builds in this story are wonderfully flawed, innocent, strong. There’s no good or bad guy, even when it comes to the cheating husband, but rather it blurs the lines between them, as you see an unfaithful father try to fight for his daughter, for her safety. A mother who will do whatever it takes to look after her daughter, as Mariah herself questions what is happening to her daughter. It’s an unputdownable story that will grip you at 3am as everything blurs around you whilst you focus on this story. A worthy read for anyone and everyone. 

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