Some people can point to a moment that defined their lives. It could be a moment when a metaphorical light bulb became lit and an idea made sense or when an action literally changed a life’s course. Whatever the circumstances, that moment was the impetus for everything that followed.
Shelby Richmond is one of those people. She was behind the wheel when a car accident left her best friend in a vegetative state. In that moment, Shelby is transformed from a popular, carefree good girl into a loner who believes the world would be better off without her presence.
In Faithful, bestselling novelist Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic, The Dovekeepers) traces Shelby’s metamorphosis from a teenage girl who hides from the world to a young woman who believes her life might be worthwhile, after all.
Hoffman’s prose is engaging, but Shelby’s path is neither quick nor easy. In the months after the accident, Shelby holes up in her mother’s basement. She can’t stand the hoopla that now surrounds her best friend, Helene. Crowds gather outside Helene’s home, and people believe they may be granted a miracle by touching the comatose girl’s hand. Although she has the option of moving, dreaming, living, Shelby feels nearly as stuck as her best friend, until a series of cryptic postcards begin to show up at her door.
Faithful is a deep dive into grief and its lingering effects, a masterful character study of a young woman reassembling her life, one moment at a time.