Sunday, May 6, 2012

Faith by Jennifer Haigh


Jennifer Haigh's Faith touches nerves that leave the reader squirming a bit. Haigh's examination of family dynamics and dysfunction reaches into that place in our minds where we hold our family secrets, the secrets that perhaps no one else would even care about but are there nonetheless because we cover them with the shame we've been told we should feel. She examines the McGann family's journey through life including their family secrets and the secrets they keep from one another in the name of protecting the family while drawing an interesting parallel to the secrets that are kept to protect people's faith. The parallel between the main character's brother's unwillingness to defend himself against accusations in order to keep another secret seem both sacrificial and selfish at the same time. While at times the reader may want to stop reading due to the subject matter, Haigh draws the reader into the lives of the McGanns so much the reader has to know what happens next. The McGann family is so real in their struggles, their secrets, their faith, and their dysfunction, they could be the family next door or the reader's own if the reader is brave enough to admit it.

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