Faith tackles an extremely sensitive and divisive issue: the abuse of children by Catholic priests. The novel is narrated by Sheila McGann, a Boston native who returns home from her life in Philadelphia when her family is suddenly plunged into turmoil. Her older half-brother, Art, has been a respected priest in the community for years when he is accused of molesting a young boy. Each member of the McGann clan face doubt, judgment, and condemnation as the details of the allegations emerge.
"If you aren’t Catholic — or maybe especially if you are — you have wondered what possesses a young man to choose that life, with its elaborate privations. I have asked Art this question, expecting the boilerplate Church response, that priests are called by God. His answer surprised me. It helps, he said, to be a child, with little understanding of what he is forfeiting. Love to marriage to home and family: connect those dots and you get the approximate shape of most people’s lives. Take them away, and you lose any hope for connection. You give up your place in the world."
In addition to Faith, Jennifer Haigh is the author of the novels The Condition, Bakers Towers, and Mrs. Kimble. She currently lives in the Boston area.
Length: 312 pages
Set in: Boston, Massachusetts, United States