Chrissy's Reviews > Faith

Faith by Jennifer Haigh
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's review
Nov 01, 2011

it was ok
Read in February, 2012

The structure/architecture of the novel really got in the way for me. The first chapter read like Colm Toibin's "Brooklyn," which got me excited but the rest of the book was nothing like that at all. After the first chapter, the novel is narrated by the half-sister of a priest wrongfully and opportunistically accused of molesting an 8-year old boy. She attempts to recount the story by telling his side, as well as that of her younger brother who almost ruins his life trying reconcile his doubts of his half-brother turned priest.

What I don't understand is why the author chose her as a narrator. Her story is the thinnest in the book, making her superfluous and distracting to the narrative tension of the story itself. The story also focuses as much on the younger brother, if not more, than on the priest. His is an interesting narrative, but feels like a different end game than the one set-up in the first half of the novel.

Ultimately, I think it was a compelling idea for a novel that was held back by it's execution.
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