Faith by Jennifer Haigh is a complex, disturbing, and thought provoking novel about an Irish-American family that takes on the difficult topic of child abuse within the Catholic Church. Most of the story is told as seen through the eyes of Sheila McGann, Sheila is a teacher, divorced and disillusioned not only by the church but also by life.
Firstly this book deals with the family's reaction to the news that one of their own has been accused of child abuse. I was very hesitant about reading this book because of the tough subject matter but I loved how Jennifer Haigh presents the this story and at no stage is the reader confronted with uncomfortable details of child abuse but yet Haigh leaves you wondering and asking questions.
The characters are wonderfully written and each and every one is believable and I found myself drawn into this novel from page one. I loved the complexity of the McCann family and as with any family confronted with difficulty how they cope with news and how it affects each one of them and their extended families, I especially found the character of Abby (Mike's wife)intriguing and a character while secondary in the novel for me was so important to the story.
This would make a wonderful book club read as its one of those books that would provide excellent discussion material.