Faithful by Alice Hoffman- publish date 11/01/2016
From the jacket:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeeperscomes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.
I have to be honest here – I have never read any of Alice Hoffman’s work before this book. I was dazzled by the beautiful cover and the opportunity to read it before its debut. The other MW ladies told me I would love her style and that I would be hooked. They were RIGHT!
This book tore me apart. In a good, “I got the feels” kind of way. I was unsure at the start as the premise of this story is very sad and I wasn’t familiar with Hoffman’s style. It was around mid-2nd chapter that I started feeling like the story was reading itself to me. Like I was listening to an audio book instead of reading it on my Nook. Shelby survives a tragic accident that her friend, Helene only makes it out as alive as the machine that keeps her that way. Shelby is overcome with survivor’s guilt as she is reminded of all the things that she CAN do, that Helene can no longer. Hoffman’s haunting narrative takes us through the journey of moving forward and highlights the relationships that keep us going when we feel like we no longer can. I felt like I was grieving with Shelby, and that I found hope when she did. She drives home the reality that the way we feel about ourselves is not always the way those around us feel about us.
Between the love of her mother and the gentle reminders of how to live life among the living from her anonymous “guardian angel,” Hoffman encourages her reader to really consider the term “faithful.” Who are the ones to stick by you when you are even lower than rock bottom?
Pre-order your copy here (and thank me later).
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to give this mesmerizing book an early read in exchange for my honest review.