Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FAITH: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
FAITH
BY JENNIFER HAIGH

ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Sheila McGann sets out to redeem her disgraced brother, a once-beloved Catholic priest in suburban Boston, her quest will force her to confront cataclysmic truths about her fractured Irish-American family, her beliefs, and, ultimately, herself. Award-winning author Jennifer Haigh follows her critically acclaimed novels Mrs. Kimble and The Condition with a captivating, vividly rendered portrait of fraying family ties, and the trials of belief and devotion, in Faith.

It is the spring of 2002 and a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city's archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayal of the souls in their care. In Faith, Jennifer Haigh explores the fallout for one devout family, the McGanns.

Estranged for years from her difficult and demanding relatives, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother Art, the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. What she discovers is more complicated than she imagined. Her strict, lace-curtain-Irish mother is living in a state of angry denial. Sheila's younger brother Mike, to her horror, has already convicted his brother in his heart. But most disturbing of all is Art himself, who persistently dodges Sheila's questions and refuses to defend himself.

As the scandal forces long-buried secrets to surface, Faith explores the corrosive consequences of one family's history of silence—and the resilience its members ultimately find in forgiveness. Throughout, Haigh demonstrates how the truth can shatter our deepest beliefs—and restore them. A gripping, suspenseful tale of one woman's quest for the truth, Faith is a haunting meditation on loyalty and family, doubt and belief. Elegantly crafted, sharply observed, this is Jennifer Haigh's most ambitious novel to date.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Haigh is the author of the New York Times bestseller Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author; Mrs. Kimble, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and was a finalist for the Book Sense Book of the Year; and The Condition.

Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She lives in the Boston area.
For more about Jennifer, be sure and visit her website HERE.Photo by Asia Kepka

PRAISE FOR FAITH:
“A masterpiece of tension and tenderness.”
— More magazine  “Luminous. . . . The novel has the magnetic, page-turning quality of a detective thriller, but the clues here lead not to objective proof but to insight into a family both vividly specific and astonishingly universal. . . . . Wise.”— O magazine  “Haigh deals with complex moral issues in subtle ways, and her narrative is beautifully, sometimes achingly poignant.”— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)  “With an exquisite sense of drama and mystery, Haigh delivers a taut, well-crafted tale. . . . Indelibly rendered characters, suspenseful pacing, and fearless but sensitive handling of a controversial subject will make this a must-read for book discussion groups.”— Booklist (starred review)  “Haigh’s fourth novel draws you in. . . . You’ll be hypnotized until you know where it stops.”— Self  "[Haigh is] an expert natural storyteller with an acute sense of her characters' humanity." 
New York Times 
 
"We have the intriguing possibility that the next great American author is already in print." 
Fort Worth Star-Telegram 
GUEST REVIEW:
Guest Review today by Carol Wong. 
 
Words cannot express how powerful this book is. I am amazed at Jennifer's Haigh's skill at building complex characters and evoking emotions in her writing.

I have read that everyone who is Catholic should read this book but I am not Catholic. Rather, my grandmother had Irish origins and was Catholic. I can remember my mother's reluctance for us to go to grandmother's house because of her inclination to break loose in a rousing untamed Irish song.

This book makes a person think about several issues that the Catholic Church still faces today. It also brings up the religious concept of faith and also the question of faith in family members. If told that your brother or sister did something horrible beyond belief would you still have faith in him or her? Or would you let doubts creep in? Would you believe what others say of your sibling?

'Faith' also brings into light the incredible depth of complexity in family life and history. Too often families are portrayed too simply in literature. Jennifer Haigh shows that people are the sum of so many experiences and interactions with others, internal thoughts and even more.

In 2002, the Archdiocese of Boston was embroiled in a shocking sexual scandal and later found to be involved in a cover-up. Jennifer Haigh thought about the family when she wrote this book. What would happen to the family of the accused when the news got out?

Sheila McGann is the narrator, the questioner, and the investigator in this story. As a loving and admiring sister, she had to know - did her half-brother, Father Arthur Breen, really do what he was accused of? While trying to find out, she laid bare her family's deepest secrets.

I felt myself squirming through the first third of this book because the family secrets that she knew and those she uncovered were so personal, painful and heartbreaking that I felt like an intruder. I had to remind myself that this is fiction because all the characters were so real to me.

Jennifer Haigh begins the story with the background of Sheila's broken family. Arthur was the only child of Harry and Mary Breen. Harry Breen used to come home right after work but then he started to stay out late after playing cards. One night, when Arthur was still a baby, he just didn't come home. That marriage was annulled and the second one lasted but only because Mary and the kids learned how to survive on and off temper displays and excessive drinking. From that second marriage, Sheila and her younger brother Mike were born.

Jennifer Haigh explores the dynamics of this family and how the older brother Arthur's experiences growing up were so different than Sheila and Mike. The story of her family becomes more emotionally charged and riveting as you read on. Each family member had a different opinion as to whether Arthur was guilty. The suspense was very riveting. As more and more secrets are revealed you may have feeling for the truth but you will also be surprised. I had trouble laying the book down. In fact, I went to sleep and got up at four in the morning to finish the book. The family details are so vivid intimate and realistic that you can do nothing but feel the pain and grief of the family.


You must read this book!

MORE ABOUT MY GUEST REVIEWER AND MY THOUGHTS ABOUT FAITH:
Carol is retired, an avid reader, and lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two cockatiels. She has a son currently working in Chengdu, China. To see a complete "bio" on Carol, visit (and enter) her first review, PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM, HERE.
When Jennifer Haigh won the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2004 for debut fiction, for her first book, Mrs. Kimble, it didn't surprise me.  I thought it was one of the best books I had read that year. Now Jennifer has come out with another winner in my mind, and I see also in Guest Reviewer Carol Wong's, as well. FAITH questions people’s true beliefs and dedication in a fascinating and brilliantly portrayed novel of what holds families together and what can tear them apart. I hope all of you get a chance to read this latest from Jennifer Haigh. 
GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO MARK AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING, I HAVE
3 HARDBACK COPIES OF THIS AMAZING
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY TO MY READERS

--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE, AND THE VIDEO YOU LISTENED TO, THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK THAT I CAN FOLLOW


+1 MORE ENTRIES: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ON JENNIFER HAIGH'S WEBSITE HERE 

+1 (or +?) MORE ENTRIES: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU ARE A GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT FOLLOWER GIVE YOURSELF +2 ENTRIES. YOU MAY ALSO GIVE YOURSELF +1 ENTRY FOR ANY OTHER WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW...BE SURE TO COMMENT SEPARATELY

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, JUNE 2
GOOD LUCK!  

113 comments:

Karen B said...

This sounds absolutely fascinating and it isn't often that a reviewer says "You must read this book!" Can't wait!

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Karen B said...

Both of her grandfathers were coal miners.

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Karen B said...

+5 for FB fans - May Bonus.

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Karen B said...

+2 - GFC follower as Karen B.

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Karen B said...

+1 - FB fan.

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Karen B said...

+1 - I subscribe.

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

debbie said...

It sounds like you really liked this book. I can truly understand how 2 siblings can have 2 entirely different childhoods. It happened in my family. I would love to read this book.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower.
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

gfc follower 2
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a email subscriber.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

rbooth43 said...

Carol says You must read this book! So count me in!
Thanks!
Rebecca
rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

bermudaonion said...

I cannot wait to read this book! Great review, Carol! No need to enter me.

Renee said...

I am Catholic and am always interested in how the topic is covered in fiction

reneesuz82(at)msn.com

Renee said...

GFC

reneesuz82(at)msn.com

Renee said...

gfc #2

reneesuz82(at)msn.com

Renee said...

win or not I"m going to add this author to my TBR list... her books all look wonderful

reneesuz82(at)msn.com

Margie said...

It looks like the author has done an amazing job with very difficult subject matter. The writing must be excellent if Carol felt like she was an intruder in the family.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

A compelling novel that would tug at the heartstrings. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Margie said...

The author's short stories have appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, the Saturday Evening Post, and many other publications. She lives in the Boston area.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Margie said...

follower by GFC
entry 1
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

follower by GFC
entry 2
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

email subscriber
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Facebook fan
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Networked Blogs follower
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

+5 Swag
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

May Facebook Fan bonus entry
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

I have read several of her novels which are unique, beautiful and memorable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

A new novel by Jennifer Haigh is something that would be unforgetttable. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am a follower. +1. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am a follower. +2. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Her articles have appeared in many publications. She is a talented writer. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tore said...

I would love to read about siblings and family. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

PoCoKat said...

This sounds like an interesting book. My husband's family is Catholic.

littleone AT shaw DoT ca

PoCoKat said...

GFC follower 1

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

GFC follower 2

littleone AT shaw dOT ca

PoCoKat said...

FB fan

littleone AT shaw DOt ca

PoCoKat said...

Email subscriber

littleone AT shaw DOt ca

PoCoKat said...

Networked Blogs follower

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

+5 FB fan May bonus

littleone AT shaw DoT ca

BRN2SHOP9 said...

sound's like a great book.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

+1 fb follower

BRN2SHOP9 said...

+2 GFC follower

BRN2SHOP9 said...

+1 for twitter follower!

Steve Capell said...

Great review Carol! I like many others feel that this book would be a fascinating read. When problems occur within a family or a church you usually encounter people that still have faith in the institutions and those that have completely given up on any kind of faith. The bottom line this creates an enormous amount of emotion. This book sounds like it would be an emotional read so I am throwing my name in the hat.

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

Momma Hunt said...

I like the thought that we all experience differently and each have our own version of our childhood. ezhunt@hotmail.com

mamabunny13 said...

I want to win because I liked your review and the book sounds so interesting.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

#1 I follow you via gfc-mamabunny13
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

#2 I follow you via gfc-mamabunny13
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mamabunny13 said...

I follow by email subscription
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mamabunny13 said...

I follow you on twitter @mamabunny13
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mamabunny13 said...

I follow you on networked blogs-mamabunny shelor
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mamabunny13 said...

I follow you on facebook-mamabunny shelor
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mamabunny13 said...

I follow you by reader
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lag123 said...

I loved Carol's review! I like books about family secrets which are thought provoking. Thanks for the giveaway.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/lag32583/status/70994521323864064

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

Jennifers short stories have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

1. I am a GFC follower.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

2. I am a GFC follower.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I subscribe via email.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I subscribe via google reader

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I follow via twitter: @lag32583

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I like this blog on FB: Lisa Holmes Garrett

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lag123 said...

I follow via networked blogs: Lisa Holmes Garrett

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Linda Kish said...

This sounds like an interesting story.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am an Email subscriber

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~Enamored Soul~ said...

I would love to read this book because it has always interested me how different people in ONE family can view a certain circumstance with varying perspectives. I think that's one of the biggest reasons as to why I'd love to read the book!

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I tweeted the giveaway:

http://twitter.com/#!/inluvwithbookz/status/71500489157656577

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I learned that some of the authors that inspire Jennifer Haigh are Vladimir Nobakov and Alice Munro who are authors that inspire me as well!

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I'm a GFC Follower.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I'm a GFC Follower.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I "like" Bookin' Bingo on Facebook.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I follow Bookin' Bingo on Networked Blogs as Hira Hasnain.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I follow you on Twitter.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I'm a confirmed email subscriber.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I want to win this book because it talks about the catholic faith and to deepen my faith, I think it would be good to read this book!

behapppppppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I'm also a follower via GFC!!

behapppppppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I've read wonderful reviews on this title, and Carol's description of the family dynamics and how the uncovering of secrets made her "Feel" the characters really makes me want to read this one (it's on my to-buy list already). I think that any book that actually takes you into the world and emotions of the characters is well worth the read.

Thanks for the chance to win!

knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I follow via GFC as jewelknits.

knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I follow via GFC as jewelknits.

knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

#2

bison61 said...

sounds like a great read, I like the question- if your brother or sister did something horrible beyond belief would you still have faith in him or her?

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

G. said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, would love to win!

gka444 (at) gmail (dot) com

Pamela Keener said...

Once again Carol you make me want to pick this book right up and start reading. The premise is also so thought provoking.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

+2 GFC follower.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

+1 Google Reader follower
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

+1 FB follower
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

+1 e-mail subscriber
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

Alice Munro is a favorite writer of Jennifer and a favorite of mine too .
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Cindy W. said...

The book FAITH sounds like a book I would truly enjoy and the cover is quite intriging.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am an email subscriber.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a GFC follower.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I found it interesting that both of her gradfathers were coal miners.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a GFC follower. +2

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Misusedinnocence said...

I'm alwyas very interested in how faith is dealt with in these kind of books and would very much like to read this.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow on gfc.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Nancye said...

I think this book takes the topic of abuse in the Catholic Church from a vastly different point of view than most books do. I think this book sounds very interesting in that it is from the view of the accused's family.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/76112582360055808

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I learned on Jennifer's site that her first book "Mrs. Kimble" won the 2004 PEN/ Hemingway Award for debut fiction.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net
#1

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net
#2

Nancye said...

Twitter Follower
@NancyeDavis

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I like you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

email subscriber

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Networked Blogs

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I subscribe via Reader

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

+5 SwagBucks

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

rubynreba said...

Interesting about faith in family members.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

GFC Follower 1
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

GFC Follower 2
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

email subscriber
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I enjoyed reading about her book Mrs. Kimble. I'd like to read this.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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