KEEPING FAITH by Jodi Picoult


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A sweetly affirmative portrait of mother-daughter love that explores big questions while also providing a riveting narrative of a custody battle. Picoult (The Pact, 1998, etc.) sets her tale in a small New Hampshire town during the last months of 1999 and intelligently addresses, without ever becoming strident or hysterical, such charged topics as mental illness and the existence of God. When Mariah comes home early one afternoon with seven-year-old daughter Faith and surprises husband Colin in bed with another woman, her carefully constructed world threatens to fall apart. The last time Colin was unfaithful, Mariah became suicidally depressed and was hospitalized until shortly before Faith’s birth; this time, after a speedy divorce, she tries to adjust to being on her own, but soon her daughter begins behaving oddly. Faith quotes scriptures she’s never been taught, claims she is speaking to God, miraculously resurrects her grandmother Millie (declared dead after a heart attack), and cures a child with AIDS. As the faithful, the ailing, and the curious gather outside Faith and Mariah’s house, stigmata appear on the girl’s wrists and various religious representatives question her credibility. Television personality Ian Fletcher, who makes a living debunking religion, arrives to do a feature. Distressed by the turmoil and media frenzy, Colin, now remarried, blames Mariah and sues for custody. Mariah, though distraught, finds herself attracted to Ian, who has his own secrets, but before true love and justice can be done, Faith nearly dies and Mariah goes to court, where she must defend herself, her past, and her daughter against an array of hostile witnesses and skeptics. Masterfully telling a story more usually found in the tabloids, Picoult offers a perfectly pitched take on the great mysteries of the heart. Her best yet.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-688-16825-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999

Kirkus Interview
Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
authors of OFF THE PAGE
May 19, 2015

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. In bestseller Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer’s new young adult novel, Off the Page, it’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. We talk to the mother-daughter team on Kirkus TV. View video >


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