Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Book 8- Keeping Faith

Where is God? Who is God? Why do people say believers to need to have faith that God exists but why do some question those who claim to see God; why don't they have faith in the faith of others?

These are all interesting questions that may or may not be answered in Jodi Picoult's sixth novel Keeping Faith.

Mariah and Colin are getting divorced because he had an affair. Colin leaves to be with his mistress and seven year old Faith stays at home with her mother, who, 7 years earlier was committed against her will to a mental institution by Colin himself when he cheated on her then.

This time Mariah is stronger and she holds her life together with the help of her mother Millie and her daughter Faith. Then one day Faith has an imaginary friend to whom she talks; the friend's name is God. Faith was raised in an agnostic home of interfaith parents; she's never been to church or read the Bible. So when Faith suddenly starts chanting Bible verses when jumping rope, and muttering in Hebrew, her mother takes her to a therapist. And there is no medical reason that can be found that Faith couldn't not be talking to God.

Then Faith performs some healings, some miracles, and it makes news. Suddenly cult members, priests, zealots, the ill and infirmed, and non believers are camped out on Faith's front lawn. Ian Fletcher, millionaire because of his atheist beliefs (think of him as an atheist Billy Graham) shows up to try and disprove Faith, wanting to say she's a hoax, that she's a charlatan and her mother a heretic. And Colin decides that Faith couldn't be talking to God, that he mother must be driving her crazy and he sues for custody. And all hell breaks loose.

This was an engaging and intellectual novel. It's an interesting look at the situation of modern day prophets. As always Picoult dazzles.

The only thing I was left wondering about was the very, very ending, which I won't give away. Picoult is know for her ending twists, usually in the last 2-3 pages she smacks the reader with the total unexpected. I would love to discuss the ending with someone!

I strongly urge people to read this, if for nothing else, than to just kick your brain into thinking mode.