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Keeping Faith

by

Keeping Faith Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Plot Summary
The White family has just been broken apart by divorce. Seven-year-old Faith finds a friend to see her through - a friend who may or may not be imaginary. What if a little girl with no religious background starts to have talks with God, perform miracles, and develop stigmata? As it builds toward a climactic custody battle, "Keeping Faith" explores a family beseiged by the media, the medical profession, and organized religion in a world where everyone has an opinion but no one knows the truth.

Topics for Discussion

  1. Much is said in the story about Mariah not being a good mother. Do you think this criticism is valid? Does Faith think Mariah is a good mother? Is motherhood truly a "work in progress," as Millie describes it?

  2. In the early pages of the first chapter, Mariah describes her marriage as perfect, yet moments after she and Faith discover Colin with another woman, Mariah says, "Oh God, it is happening again." Are there other indications in the story that Mariah refuses to see the truth that is right in front of her?

  3. Mariah says, "You can't be a mother, can you, if your child is taken away." As you read, who did you want to win custody of Faith?

  4. There are two mother-daughter sets in this book: Faith and Mariah, and Mariah and Millie. Discuss Millie. What are some of the good things Mariah learned from her? Some of the bad things? In the beginning of the story they seem to be very different people. Is this true at the end?

  5. Kenzie says: "The issue in this custody hearing is where the best home is for Faith. That doesn't leave a lot of room for God." Do you agree?

  6. Did you read the book as fiction or nonfiction?
  7. Does the Catholic Church have the right to examine Faith, a Jewish girl?

  8. If God were to appear in 1999, would He intervene, or observe?

  9. Toward the end of the story, Mariah is tugged across the yard by an exuberant Faith, "following in her daughter's footsteps." Whom did you learn the most from in the story? Who is the main character of the book: Mariah? Faith? God?

About the Author: Jodi Picoult is the author of "The Pact" and six other critically acclaimed novels. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two sons, and daughter.

Synopsis:

The White family has just been broken apart by divorce, and their seven-year-old daughter, Faith, starts to have talks with God and perform miracles. Picoult offers a provocative novel about belief and betrayal, miracles and mystery, and the fierce love of a mother for her child.

Synopsis:

For the second time in her marriage, Mariah White catches her husband with another woman, and Faith, their seven-year-old daughter, witnesses every painful minute. In the aftermath of a sudden divorce, Mariah struggles with depression and Faith begins to confide in an imaginary friend. At first, Mariah dismisses these exchanges as a child's imagination. But when Faith starts reciting passages from the Bible, develops stigmata, and begins to perform miraculous healings, Mariah wonders if her daughter--a girl with no religious background-might actually be seeing God. As word spreads and controversy flares, Mariah and Faith are besieged by believers and disbelievers alike, caught in a media circus that threatens what little stability they have left. Building inexorably to a climactic battle for custody, Keeping Faith explores a family plagued by the media, the medical profession, and organized religion in a world where everyone has an opinion but no one knows the truth. Fascinating, thoughtful, and suspenseful, this extraordinary novel is Jodi Picoult at her best: controversial and compelling.

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the 2003 New England Book Award Winner for Fiction, honoring her for her body of work.

Picoult was born and raised — happily — on Long Island. "I had such an uneventful childhood that much later, when I was taking writing classes at college, I called home and yelled at my mother, wishing for a little incest or abuse on the side," recalls Picoult. "Good writers, I thought at the time, had to have something to write about. It took me a while to realize that I already did have something to write about — that solid core of family, and of relationships, which seem to form a connective thread through my books."

Her novels, which all center on what it means to love someone, have come out in rapid-fire succession: Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992), which Picoult wrote when she was six months pregnant with her first child; Harvesting the Heart (1994), which she describes as a reflection of her feelings as a new mother — and her most emotionally autobiographical novel; Picture Perfect (1995); Mercy (1996), a novel about married love and if it's really 50/50 (Picoult says she and husband Tim are still debating this); The Pact (1998); Keeping Faith (1999); Plain Truth (2000); Salem Falls (2001); Perfect Match; and Second Glance 2003 .

Picoult says she really learned to write at Princeton, where she studied creative writing with Mary Morris, who urged her to submit a story to Seventeeen magazine. Picoult was stunned when they published it and a second story a bit later. "That's when I thought I could be a writer," says Picoult.

However, when she graduated from Princeton, she headed not for the word processor, but for Wall Street, and followed that with stints at a textbook publishing company and an ad agency. She also taught creative writing part-time at a high school, got her master's degree in education at Harvard, and married Tim, whom she'd known at Princeton. Soon she was pregnant and had written a thousand page manuscript, which became Songs of the Humpback Whale.

It took a while, but Picoult says she has reconciled writing and motherhood. "I'm a better mother because I have my writing and I'm a better writer because of the experiences of motherhood that have shaped me." At this point, Picoult sees her list of novels growing, but not her family.

"There's nothing more interesting than crawling into a character's head — a head I created, that nonetheless seems to have a mind all its own."

Product Details

ISBN:
9780688177744
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Picoult, Jodi
Publisher:
Perennial
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
Faith
Subject:
Divorce
Subject:
Custody of children
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Sagas
Subject:
Miracles
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Stigmatization
Edition Number:
1st Perennial ed.
Edition Description:
Perennial
Series Volume:
97-856
Publication Date:
20000426
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.10x5.38x1.00 in. .68 lbs.

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Keeping Faith Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Perennial - English 9780688177744 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The White family has just been broken apart by divorce, and their seven-year-old daughter, Faith, starts to have talks with God and perform miracles. Picoult offers a provocative novel about belief and betrayal, miracles and mystery, and the fierce love of a mother for her child.
"Synopsis" by , For the second time in her marriage, Mariah White catches her husband with another woman, and Faith, their seven-year-old daughter, witnesses every painful minute. In the aftermath of a sudden divorce, Mariah struggles with depression and Faith begins to confide in an imaginary friend. At first, Mariah dismisses these exchanges as a child's imagination. But when Faith starts reciting passages from the Bible, develops stigmata, and begins to perform miraculous healings, Mariah wonders if her daughter--a girl with no religious background-might actually be seeing God. As word spreads and controversy flares, Mariah and Faith are besieged by believers and disbelievers alike, caught in a media circus that threatens what little stability they have left. Building inexorably to a climactic battle for custody, Keeping Faith explores a family plagued by the media, the medical profession, and organized religion in a world where everyone has an opinion but no one knows the truth. Fascinating, thoughtful, and suspenseful, this extraordinary novel is Jodi Picoult at her best: controversial and compelling.
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