Faithful by Alice Hoffman
Before picking up this book, I’d certainly heard of Alice Hoffman, and I’d been interested in reading several of her books. Somehow, though, I’d never gotten around to it, so this was my first from her, and based on how much I enjoyed her style here, I can say I’ll definitely be reading more of her books in the future.
I’ll be honest and say that I honestly couldn’t remember what this book was about by the time I started reading it, though I’m sure that I did know at one point or another. I was surprised, then, to find that it was about the aftermath of a car accident (sort of) and one girl’s/woman’s journey to healing over the course of several years. There wasn’t any sort of connected plot driving me to keep reading, only a desire to see Shelby, the main character, grow and change and learn to accept herself as she was.
Faithful is full of sad moments, and I definitely cried more than once, especially where dogs were concerned. (Dogs show up pretty frequently in this book, which was a nice bonus for me.) But even with the sad parts, rays of happiness still shone through, even though they weren’t necessarily big, joyous parts.
This book was, for me, a reminder to appreciate the small happinesses that we have, even when everything seems to be depressing and dismal. A simple note or postcard can really brighten someone’s day and change their life. It was also a reminder to appreciate the people (and pets) around us while we have them, because they won’t always be there.
There were a few bits bordering on magical realism at the beginning, but they didn’t really linger throughout the book. It might have been nice to see more, but at the same time, I think it would have been a distraction more than anything else. I appreciated being able to follow Shelby’s story without any distractions, and I really felt satisfied at the way things turned out for her, though I didn’t always (or even frequently) agree with her choices.
I really loved reading this book and gave it five stars. Did it have flaws? Maybe, but if they were there, I didn’t really notice them. Once I started reading, I had trouble putting it down, and that’s enough for me.
*ARC from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley