Saturday, April 20, 2019

Faithful - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Rating:  Very Good
Source: Library (Audio)

Description:  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.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I heard so many good things about this one from bloggers who read all kinds of genres that I couldn't pass it up.

My Impression:  I'm going to be honest - for the first 25% or so I was pretty meh about this book.  Shelby is so full of self loathing and such a hot mess that it's hard to want to hear her story.  But then - around the time she adopted the General and Blinky - everything changed and I was completely hooked.  I didn't connect to Shelby necessarily but I rooted for her and very frequently I wanted to reach into the book and give her a good shake because she just couldn't readjust her vision of herself.

There aren't any magic wands in Shelby's world and her journey isn't easy or flawless but it felt authentic.  I loved Hoffman's ability to make me care and to make me believe that Marielle and Jasmine and Pablo and all the rest really existed and I became really invested as the book went on. This was my first book by Alice Hoffman but it definitively won't be my last.  While it took me a little bit to warm up to both her very unique style and Shelby herself I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this read and I was sad when it ended because that means my time with Shelby is over.

Audio note: Amber Tamblyn narrated this book.  While I thought her voice was perfect for Shelby her pacing was very slow.  I ended up increasing the speed quite a bit and I think it improved my enjoyment of the book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  While I wasn't so sure of this one at first but Hoffman really sold me.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would.  Even if this is a little outside your typical reading genres I think you'd enjoy it.  Though if you have the same audio edition I did I highly recommend increasing the pace even if you never do.


  1. Yes I loved this one but agree the beginning took a bit good you enjoyed the audio too.

  2. I've never read anything by the author but I have heard good things about her work.

  3. I still need to try her books. I've got Practical Magic on the pile. Glad it got going for you after getting used to her writing and the character.

  4. I loved this book in audio. Such a good story!

  5. I think this is the only one I've read by her and I did love the reading of it. That was 2016 (thank you GR) so I'd probably enjoy it all over again now. However if its a slow narration maybe I wouldn't go that route.

  6. This was my first Alice Hoffman and I liked it a lot,which may have been good or bad because it set the bar pretty high and all of the other books I have read of hers, but The Rules of Magic, have been meh in comparison. 😛

  7. I've read The Dovekeepers by her and it is some historical fiction. Read that one next the next time you want to read her works.