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Faithful: A Novel

Faithful: A Novel - Alice Hoffman 3.5 Stars

I'm not sure how to go about reviewing Faithful. Is it coming of age? Is it a redemption story? I mean, I guess in the end it is both. Shelby, who was driving the night she and her friend, Helene, are in a horrible accident, both comes of age and slowly redeems herself over the years following.

The story feels very real, and yet farfetched at times. Shelby's actions, fueled both by guilt and depression, range from self-destructive to selfless.

Mostly I couldn't help thinking that Shelby needed help. Yes she spent time in a psychiatric hospital, but obviously she still needed yet. I'm sure the idea of the story is that she helped herself by helping others, or some such, but she really and truly needed help.

Alice Hoffman does have a way with emotions, sucking you into the character's world. This was my first Alice Hoffman novel, though I'd heard a great deal about some of her past books. I am tempted to pick up another to give it a try.

*A free copy was provided by the publisher/netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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