This book is: sad and gritty but ultimately beautiful.
Other elements: car crashes, rescued dogs, unlikely friendships, self-discovery, hope.
Read it: if you like vividly written characters.
Overall rating: 8.75
Faithful by Alice Hoffman isn’t the kind of book I normally go for, but I found it completely absorbing and expertly executed. The novel follows the story of a high school girl, Shelby, who is in a car crash with her best friend. Shelby is the driver but she survives, while her BFF is rendered brain dead.
The story starts after the crash and follows Shelby through the next years of her life, though the crushing guilt and depression after the incident through to the life she struggles to build for herself later on.
This book sounds like it would be either cheesy or just a depression festival, but instead there’s something beautiful and genuine about it. Alice Hoffman’s writing is spare and careful, the characters complex. Faithful ends up feeling hopeful: more of a tribute to human resilience and the strength a wounded girl finds to rebuild herself into a whole woman, even though it takes years.
Faithful was my first Alice Hoffman read, and the experience made me want to go track down the author’s other books. I can’t give a stronger recommendation than that.
My thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of Faithful for review consideration. For more reads anytime, check out my Amazon recommended books store. This post contains affiliate links.