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BLIND FAITH by Ellen Wittlinger


by Ellen Wittlinger

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-4169-0273-2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

An issue-driven story overtly strives for a message and debate on how to define God. Liz is torn between her parents: Her mother seeks solace in a church where the spiritual leaders channel the voices of the dead to the living. Liz’s father is against it and eventually separates from the family. In the middle of this situation, Liz comes to understand that her mother is not there for her. Layered on is the introduction of Nathan and his younger sister, who move into their inhospitable grandmother’s house because their mother is dying of leukemia. Nathan and Liz attempt to go out, but Liz becomes his main source of consolation and stability. Luckily Liz has exceptional emotional intelligence, because, though she’s the one who suffers multiple losses, she’s also the one character who provides solace to all—and sets up the poignant and satisfying conclusion. Set in Massachusetts, the focus on questioning God seems within the tradition of New England literature. But the presentation is often heavy-handed; the subtleties come toward the end—again at the behest of Liz. Lots of grief, little humor and a character who is so stable that readers might be surprised to realize she’s a character who defines for a new age the concept of “hero.” (Fiction. 12-14)