Faithful by Alice Hoffman; published by Simon & Schuster (November 1, 2016); ISBN 9781476799209
At seventeen Shelby Richmond seemed to have a bright future ahead of her; pretty and smart, she was looking forward to attending university. When a tragic car accident leaves her best friend Helene in a permanent vegetative state while Shelby is physically unhurt, her world spirals out of control. Unable to deal with the guilt and pain, and convinced she should be punished for what has happened, Shelby isolates herself from her previous life, from her parents and friends. What follows is the story of the power of love, family and friendship to heal and inspire; a story of survival against terrible odds; the unyielding power of hope.
So many feelings after reading Faithful; on one hand devastatingly sad and heartbreaking. As a mother, I just wanted to take Shelby in my arms and hug her and hold her close to me, to make the pain go away. But on the other hand, Shelby’s story is heartwarming and hopeful, surprisingly uplifting and inspirational. Alice Hoffman has created in Shelby Richmond such a likeable and relatable character, vulnerable, emotional, mentally broken in a million little pieces but still with a glimmer of hope and a survivors instinct. The supporting characters, who literally provide Shelby with the support she needs to get through this traumatic event in her life, are also wonderfully written and you are sure to love them.
Faithful is beautifully written. It sure ticks a lot of boxes and will appeal to a wide range of readers. Just a wonderful book and another great must read from 2016!
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me a advanced digital copy in return for an honest, unbiased review.