By Jennifer Haigh
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060755812, 352pp.)
Publication Date: January 2012
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It is the spring of 2002 and a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the citys archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayal of the souls in their care. Estranged for years from her difficult and demanding family, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother, Art, the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. But what she discovers is more complicated than she imagined as the scandal forces long-buried secrets to surface.
Elegantly crafted and sharply observed, Jennifer Haighs Faith is a haunting meditation on loyalty and family that demonstrates how the truth can shatter our deepest beliefsand restore them.
Jennifer Haigh is the author of four critically acclaimed novels, Faith; The Condition; Baker Towers, winner of the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for Fiction, and Mrs. Kimble, for which she won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her short fiction has been published widely, including in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories 2012, and other publications. She lives in the Boston area.
- For the epigraph, Jennifer Haigh uses two quotes, one involving sin, the other about living by the Rule. Explain what each quote refers to. How do these quotes reflect the novel's themes?
“Both riveting and profound. . . . An incredibly suspenseful novel.”
“A masterpiece of tension and tenderness.”
“Luminous. . . . The novel has the magnetic, page-turning quality of a detective thriller, but the clues here lead not to objective proof but to insight into a family both vividly specific and astonishingly universal. . . . . Wise.”
“Haigh deals with complex moral issues in subtle ways, and her narrative is beautifully, sometimes achingly poignant.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“With an exquisite sense of drama and mystery, Haigh delivers a taut, well-crafted tale. . . . Indelibly rendered characters, suspenseful pacing, and fearless but sensitive handling of a controversial subject will make this a must-read for book discussion groups.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Haigh’s fourth novel draws you in. . . . You’ll be hypnotized until you know where it stops.”
“FAITH is so emotionally rich, and its story so deftly delivered, that we’re absorbed.”
-Wall Street Journal
“Expertly wrought. . . . Ms. Haigh, a subtle, serious novelist who happens to have a flair for capturing troubled family dynamics, never allows FAITH to become predictable. . . . Gripping. . . . Substantial.”
-New York Times