Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Title: Faithful
Author: Alice Hoffman
Read by: Amber Tamblyn
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: Approximately 8 hours and 28 minutes
Source: Simon & Schuster Audio Digital Review Copy – Thank-you!

Survivor’s guilt.  When one survives a tragedy, how can you get over the guilt to be able to live life again?

Shelby Richmond is a wounded young woman.  After a tragic accident as a teenager that put her best friend into an endless coma, Shelby struggles with life.  While Helene remains beautiful and people come from all over searching for a miracle from her touch, Shelby is committed to a psychiatric hospital.  Afterwards she shaves her head, lives in her parent’s basement and does drugs.  She has hit rock bottom.

Life is a journey and Shelby continues on with the journey and slowly moves away from punishing herself each day.  Moving with her drug dealer turned boyfriend, Ben Mink, Shelby arrives in New York City.  She gets a job at a pet store, adopts a few pets, and makes a best friend, Maravelle.  She hates kids, but in helping her friend out, she grows attached to Maravelle’s kids.  Ben Mink turns out to be the perfect boyfriend, but Shelby is not so perfect to him and they part ways.  Will she be able to find love?  She also has not been the perfect daughter, but when she finds out her mother has cancer, will she be able to redeem herself?  Why does Shelby receive mysterious postcards with a drawing on one side and a message on the other such as “feel something?”

I really enjoyed this audiobook.  Amber Tamblyn was a great narrator and the perfect embodiment of the character of Shelby.  The coming of age and redemption storyline kept me engaged on my daily commute.  The best part of this novel was the characters.  They were all believable characters and very engaging.  Shelby really annoyed me at times with her treatment of characters such as Ben Mink, but I loved how she grew as a person throughout the novel. I love animals and loved how dogs were also very important in the narrative.

Favorite Quotes:

"Shelby knows what's wrong with her. She is paying her penance. She is stopping her life, matching her breathing so that it has become a counterpart of the slow intake of air of a girl in a coma."

“You rescue something and you're responsible for it. But maybe that's what love is. Maybe it's like a hit-and-run accident; it smashes you before you can think. You do it no matter the cost and you keep on running”

“Shelby told her that if she had a hundred lifetimes she would want Sue to be her mother in every one, just as for a hundred lifetimes she would want James to be the one that stopped on the road that night. She would want him to stay here. She would want him to know her when no one else did.”

Overall, Faithful is a very engaging audiobook about the power of moving on from guilt into redemption.

What is your favorite story of redemption?


  1. Laura, I have been meaning to read something by Alice Hoffman for ages now. This sounds like an excellent audiobook. Wonderful review as always! I am not sure what my favorite story of redemption is.

  2. It was an excellent audiobook. I really liked how it was a unique story!