Faith

  • by Jennifer Haigh
  • Narrated by Therese Plummer
  • 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is the spring of 2002, and a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city's archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayal of the souls in their care. In Faith, Jennifer Haigh explores the fallout for one devout family, the McGanns.
Estranged for years from her difficult and demanding relatives, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother, Art, the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. What she discovers is more complicated than she imagined. Her strict, lace-curtain-Irish mother is living in a state of angry denial. Sheila's younger brother, Mike, to her horror, has already convicted his brother in his heart. But most disturbing of all is Art himself, who persistently dodges Sheila's questions and refuses to defend himself.
As the scandal forces long-buried secrets to surface, Faith explores the corrosive consequences of one family's history of silence - and the resilience its members ultimately find in forgiveness. Throughout, Haigh demonstrates how the truth can shatter our deepest beliefs - and restore them.
A gripping, suspenseful tale of one woman's quest for the truth, Faith is a haunting meditation on loyalty and family, doubt and belief. Elegantly crafted, sharply observed, this is Jennifer Haigh's most ambitious novel to date.

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Audible Editor Reviews

A Boston priest is accused of molesting a boy in the wake of the 2002 scandals in Jennifer Haigh’s affecting novel, masterfully performed by Therese Plummer.
A veteran and prolific narrator, Therese Plummer perfectly captures the Boston Irish Catholic ethnic enclave. Plummer’s Boston accent is spot on and the overall performance adds an immediacy to the experience. Listeners can almost hear the beer cans clanging at the family events and the rosary beads clacking at mass. Plummer effortlessly switches among distinct and varied characters and never goes over the top.
The narrator had great material to work with; Jennifer Haigh’s haunting tale will stay with the listener for a long time. Mrs. Kimble, Baker Towers, and The Condition showed Jennifer Haigh’s ability to create beautifully written, character-driven novels. Her strong writing continues with this latest effort. Readers will want to hit the pause button a few times to savor some gorgeous sentences. In Faith, Father Arthur’s tale, as well as his family’s, is told from the perspective of his loyal half-sister, Sheila. Arthur, a local boy and apple of his mother’s eye, had been with the Catholic Church since he was a boy. The allegations of child molestation shock the family and Sheila seeks to figure out what exactly happened. Haigh spins a tale of the complexities and secrets of a family. Its flawed members are all very human and relatable; each character, in turn, earns the reader’s frustration and sympathy. The issues raised result in a sometimes uncomfortable but always thought-provoking listen.
Jennifer Haigh and Therese Plummer create an impressive listen, tackling family, faith, and truth, all amid a shocking and painful chapter in recent American history. It’s a formidable task but it is done with grace and compassion. Listeners and book group participants should put it at the top of their lists. — Julie MacDonald

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ugh!

This book had such potential. I thought the premise was unique, since I generally jump to the conclusion of gulity when I hear about a priest accused of molestation or abuse. But I am distracted by two things the author has done: She has, several times, and I'm less than half way through the book, said things to the effect of 'details of which I will get to later.' I find that kind of carrot shows a lack of writing ability. In addition, when considering if his brother, the priest, is guilty of abusing an eight year old boy, he is searching his memory for signs that his priest brother is gay. BEING GAY DOES NOT EQUAL CHILD MOLESTER! They are two very, very different things, completely unrelated. This shallow, ignorant view feeds the ignorance of anyone who doesn't personally know someone who is gay. I am finding this so offensive, I don't think I'll be able to finish the book. Lastly, the book is read by Therese Plummer, whose voice I can't help but associate with my daughter's audiobook from the American Girl series. This is no fault of the reader, the author, nor the publisher. This is just my audio association that reflects negatively on the story.
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- Lisa Eaton

Stick with it, especially if you've been Catholic

At first I thought this was a trite story about a pedophile priest, but I stuck with it and found the book to be much more profound. I am a 57 year old lapsed Catholic, who went to Catholic school for 12 years, so I could definitely relate to a lot. The family stuff relationships added richness to this book, and I found it engrossing.
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- Monica

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-10-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio