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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


by Jennifer Haigh
audiobook: 10.6 hours
narrated by Therese Plummer

Why I Read It

I don't generally read books like this but after seeing all the fantastic reviews for it during the TLC Book Tour (and hearing that it was not a Catholic-bashing book*) I knew I had to give it a try.

About the Book

A Boston priest is accused of molesting a young boy and the fall-out in the community is huge. The priest's mother and sister family stand by him but his brother (father of two boys himself) wants nothing to do with him anymore.  Parishioners struggle to match this horrible accusation with the priest they've trusted for years while the media crucifies him in light of all the other scandals in the Catholic Church in recent years.

The story is told by the priest's sister as she tries to put together the chain of events that led to the accusation.

My Thoughts 

This is a fantastic book! I feel like these characters are people I know in real life. They are each unique and real enough to walk off the page. The story kept my attention from the start and I held my breath in anticipation as secrets were revealed in the latter half of the book.

Some of you know this already but my husband was molested by a teacher at a Christian school. It took years for him to tell anyone about it. When he finally did, the teacher was brought to trial and eventually convicted and sent to jail. School staff and students' families were split over the issue; some believed the kids (there ended up being more than just my husband) while others accused them of lying and stood by the teacher. It was a painful time for everyone involved. That anger and pain and confusion were all captured by Haigh in this book, and she did it in a very convincing way.

In retrospect I should have seen how the book would turn out but I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't think ahead and the ending took me by surprise.

As I said at the beginning of my review, it was a great, great book. I am very glad I broke out of my normal reading range and gave this one a chance.

* I was raised Catholic and although I now attend a non-denominational church I still have a great love for the Catholic Church.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your review and what you shared. Thanks for this. I'll have to add it to my TBR list.

Amanda said...

Wow I did not know that. I am so amazed at the bravery of some people standing up for themselves. I have this book and have read great reviews. Thanks for your review!

ImageNations said...

This is not a book I'd have picked up if I didn't know the story. Your review has heighten the suspense and now I want to know if the priest did it or not. Most at times too society is quick to persecute. But is it their fault? for they look up to these individuals as role models for morality.

Kailana said...

I really want to read this at some point.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Erika - I think you'd enjoy the writing in this one.

Amanda - I hope you do read it!

Nana - Yes, we hope that the people we look up to are worthy of that respect but unfortunately that isn't always the case.

Kailana - Definitely make time for it - it's a very good read.

Unknown said...

I thought Faith was a fantastic book and although I willingly read it, I was skeptical & didn't expect much. I was happy to be proved wrong.

Given what happened to your husband (omg!) I wonder if reading this book was a little different for you? Especially until you got through to the end of the story.

I have to say that I am shocked and dismayed that there were people who thought your husband and other children were lying. If those people were parents I seriously think their children should have been removed from their home because to be able to think children would continuously lie about something like that (I'm sure your husband was interviewed quite a bit) I don't think they could be very good parents. Sorry for my rant!
I think your husband was courageous and it's awful whay he experienced.

I'm glad you like dthe book. I am looking forward to reading more of Jennifer Haigh's work.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, it sounds like this was a pretty personal book for you. I'm glad to know the person who molested your husband was convicted - they almost never stop with just one child.

Beth F said...

First, how brave of your husband and thank goodness others stood up with him.

I have been on the fence about this book -- Sandy's review the other day and now yours has made me think about reading it. I own the audio, but just haven't been in the mood to start it.

Cheryl said...

That was a great review! I haven't heard of this one, but I am adding it to my to-read list! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Violet said...

This must have been a difficult book to read, especially for you. You've made em curious, I might give this a try.

Amused said...

This sounds like a very personal book for you. I am glad you read it because it is just so good!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Amy - Yeah, it was very hard for my husband to understand why some of the adults he knew from school would call him a liar.

bermudaonion - You're right! I'm just sorry that he isn't STILL in jail.

Beth F - It took years for the truth to come out. As for the book, do try the audio - I think you'd enjoy the narration.

Cheryl - I hop you find time to read it!

Violet - It's not something I'd generally read but it was very good.

Amused - I'm really glad I gave it a chance!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I have a pretty long drive this weekend since I'm moving from North Florida to Virginia Beach (I know, I know, Hurricane Irene is trying to tick me off), and I need a new audiobook, so looks like I'm going to be downloading this one.

Thanks for sharing such a personal story - I also wish for you that that criminal was still in jail. I become infuriated by the injustices and crimes that children experience. I cannot stand it.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Natalie - I hope you do listen to it - it's a great book. Oh, and I'll be in the VA Beach area sometime this winter for oen of Kiddo's hockey games - maybe we can hook up while I'm there!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I also enjoyed this book. Sorry your husband had to go through what he did.

Anonymous said...

Interesting sounding book. Thanks for the review.

Marie Cloutier said...

I'm really glad to hear that this wasn't a Church-bashing book. That's the main thing that's been keeping me from reading it and I appreciate your point of view on this. Thanks for the great review.

Mystica said...

I did not know the story behind the book. Thank you for the review.

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