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Matters of Faith by Kristy Kiernan

Pub Date: | Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell

Matters of Faith
Kristy Kiernan

Berkley
8-5-08
Hardcover/321 pages
ISBN: 978-0-425-22179-2
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". . . an engrossing and provocative novel . . ."

Matters of Faith: A clash between family, faith, and responsibility.

Marshall brings a girl home to meet his mother for the first time. Ada is a strange, beautiful and outspoken young woman. Meghan, Marshall’s little sister, is as taken with Ada as Marshall. His mother and father are less enchanted with Ada or her pronouncements about health and living organically, especially in light of the silver ring in her eyebrow and the tribal tattoo on her lower back.

When Marshall, Meghan and Ada go out on a boat into the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Everglades, Ada’s convictions that she knows best about Meghan’s allergies and health will rip Marshall’s family apart and put Meghan’s life at risk.

At first glance, Kristy Kiernan’s novel of family seems like just another story about a young man finding himself and growing up. But it pays to take a closer look. Matters of Faith is an engrossing and provocative novel that questions what holds a family together in the face of tragedy. Kiernan puts the family and love on trial as she moves back and forth between Chloe’s and Marshall’s points of view. The effect is subtle, shocking, and completely effective.

With effortless and evocative language, Matters of Faith becomes a subtly wrought narrative with credible characters. Kiernan has written a riveting page-turning novel with staying power. Her timing and sense of character and place is quite simply wonderful, making Matters of Faith a book to read and reread.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell