I’ve always been a non-denominational Christian. I was raised that way and I still am. I try, mostly with success, to steer clear of religious discussions, religious books (save for Dan Brown’s entertaining nonsense) and religious movies. My faith is based on the teachings of the bible and the bible remains my single most revered authority on matters relating to God. I believe this keeps me sane as I’m a deeply analytical person who would ask more questions than faith would thrive in.
So when my friend Maureen gave me the book ‘Keeping Faith’ (I doubt I’d have picked it off a shelf let alone purchased it), I kept it on my bookshelf for a while before embarking on this remarkable novel. But when I finally found the heart, or is it the soul, to read it, I couldn’t put it down.
Jodi Picoult is talented. That’s the only word I can use to describe what she was able to achieve with this book. Many novels don’t have the power to ask basic life questions including the one that most people tread stealthily around; who is God?
So when a little child Faith, plagued by the pain of watching her unfaithful father leave starts getting visions and conversations with a female god, questions regarding how Mariah, her mother is raising her are imminent. Especially since Mariah is clinically depressed and completely withdraws leaving faith to look for an imaginary friend…but is it an imaginary friend or is it really God?
The drama (such an understatement) unfolds when Faith begins to develop stigmata and perform miracles. Their home becomes a media circus as the world becomes curious, led by an aethist journalist who has his best story yet. The suspense in this novel could cause you hyper-acidity and you will not do anything else until you’re done with it.
But it’s a story of love, motherhood, and hope in the midst of the most uncertain times. A story of faith…