I had heard about Faith by Jennifer Haigh for a long while as it was on so many Top Books lists. I guess I didn’t pick it up because I am not Catholic. I finally got around to reading it. Wow- I should have read it months ago. It is a beautifully written book! Haigh takes a very delicate and controversial subject matter, priests and child molestation, and tackles it in a exceedingly haunting and descriptive way.
I especially liked the interplay of the adult siblings. The book is set in 2002 and tackles the fallout of a priest, Art, accused of child molestation. The characters in the book are so artfully portrayed-
Art- the accused priest. An amazingly likable character.
Sheila- Art’s sister. She steps up to defend Art.
Mike- Art’s younger brother who has a host of his own issues.
Quotes from the Book:
Haigh’s writing is so mesmorizing that I could have listed many more quotes here. Here are a sample of my favorites:
Sheila says, “I’d tried marriage- briefly, disastrously- and was divorced with a slice of wedding cake still in my freezer, awaiting our first anniversary.”
Of Art, Haigh writes, “He took to this new life with great enthusiasm, a sunflower turning its face to the sky.”
“As human connection went, he was a beggar at the banquet, unable to refuse love of any kind.”
Sheila again- “We are a small family and see each other little enough. I’d be willing to fake a little warmth if she would. Isn’t that what family is all about?”
“We love those who fit the peculiar voids within us, our hollow wounds. We love to fill the spaces the old loves left behind.”
“What stopped him, in the end, was what stops everybody. He simply ran out of time.”
This is a must read. It is a serious book and really is more akin to fine literature than a modern novel.
What are you reading and where are you going?