Summary : Keeping Faith is a story about a mother named Mariah and her daughter, Faith. The story begins with Mariah catching her husband in the act of infidelity. She has a history of depression and is afraid to fall back to the same trail of past. So, she asks her mother, Millie, to help with Faith while she is dealing with her emotional setback. Her husband had left immediately after being caught by his wife and had filed for divorce soon after. During the divorce, he does not fight for his daughter’s custody and voluntarily signs her custody to his ex-wife. Faith, only 7 years old, is aware that she could live with her mother or her father at a time and not with both of them together. Only a few days had passed since her parents’ divorce when she started interacting with an imaginary friend, whom she called her guide. According to Faith, her guide is a woman whose company is pleasant. Mariah, feeling threatened and concerned for her daughter’s well-being, immediately seeks a professional’s help to get rid of this “guide.” To her despair, professional’s help did not offer the help she required, rather a doctor gave a new name to Faith’s imaginary friend – “God”. The story moved with the double pace at this point and soon Mariah found her innocent kid in the midst of several miracles including, but not limited to, the resurrection of Mariah’s mother. Everybody considered the source of these miracles to be Faith. As if performing miracles was not bizarre enough, Faith’s palms started bleeding. Various religious people claimed this bleeding to be stigmata andby this time, media, church, believers, Christians, Jews, and just about everyone had started gathering in front of Mariah’s house to get a glimpse of the little girl. A reality show host, Ian also arrived in front of her house to falsify her claims of interaction with God. Ian is described as an atheist who travels around the globe to scientifically prove logical reasons behind every “miracle”. Faith’s father Colin, who was now married to Jessica, was astonished to see his little girl’s face in news channels. He, at this time not sure of his decision to leave Faith with her mother, sued Mariah for the custody of Faith. Mariah, undoubtedly an excellent mother, was shattered on receiving the letter from the court, but she decided to be strong during this trial for her daughter’s sake. Is Faith in touch with God or its an act of desperation by a little girl to be with both her parents? If Faith is only pretending then how are miracles happening around her and how did she fake stigmata? Is Mariah really a good mother or her past of depression catching up to her? Is Mariah forcing her daughter to pretend in order to get Colin’s attention? Will Colin win the trial and take her daughter away from Mariah? Will Colin be able to help his little girl?
What is to be expected from this book : This book has a rare combination of intelligence and emotions. Author has managed to jot down the feelings of all her characters and she has also managed to develop same feelings in her readers. Faith, miracle-worker, has maintained her innocence everywhere and is expressed exactly as a 7-year-old child. Mariah’s reactions to her daughter’s strange claims of seeing God are not far from reality. Every mother, whoever reads or hears this story, can feel her pain and her frustration. Mariah’s longing for her husband’s love and her mother’s anger towards the person who destroyed her daughter’s happiness could not have been written any better. Involvement of Christians and Jews’ religious authorities is written beautifully. Court scene is described so realistically that reader will feel that they are in the courtroom and watching the scene from their eyes. At one point, I was so hypnotized by the book that I, myself, started doubting Mariah and thought that a possibility existed that she was hurting her own child to gain public attention. Whether my doubt was right or wrong that is for readers to find out. But the reason I brought this up, is only to point out the realistic style of author’s writing.
This book has a beautiful blend of religion, logic, and love. I believe this story deserves a good reading by every fiction lover.
Take away from the book: This book supports the well-known phrase “Love conquers all”. Pieces of evidence of this simple saying are present all over the book.
Another message is to never run away from misery. Mariah, on sensing incoming trouble from Colin, takes off but this does not help her and only weakens her case. So, the lesson to learn is to be brave and face your troubles with your head held high.
But above all, this book insists on having faith in your life. To lose faith means to live without a heart and soul. This significant message is written with pure elegance by Jodi.