Faithful by Alice Hoffman

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REMINDER: Page Turners Book Club will be discussing Faithful on August 10 at 3PM at Danville Public Library.

After a horrific car accident, Shelby’s survivor’s guilt throws into into a tailspin of depression and self-harm. On a whim, she moves to New York with her drug dealer boyfriend and gets a job at a pet store. Things start to change for Shelby when she takes in a couple of rescue dogs and makes friends with a coworker.

The book starts off pretty depressing because that’s where Shelby is at that point of the story, but just as things improve for Shelby when the dogs come into her life, the book itself improved for me as well. The idea of a little French Bulldog named the General cracks me up and I hope to give my future pets similarly ridiculous names. Shelby’s life is rough and she frequently makes poor decisions, which served to make her more real for me. I felt as though I knew her, or a character very much like her before. The book is billed as magical realism but really there’s very little magic. Just a bit of talk of miracles performed by Helene, and the book never comes down one way or another whether or not the miracles are real. I liked that ambiguity. The book wasn’t my cup of tea on the whole, but I’d definitely give Alice Hoffman another try.

Review by Jessica A.

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