Book Review: Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Book Review: Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful by Alice Hoffman is a book that gives you hope that there actually is goodness in everyone. It is a story that explores many themes, such as grief, love and family.  This book is one that will appeal to many, however, there are some very difficult topics that are prevalent in this novel, so I will caution anyone who is triggered by scenes of rape and self-harm.

Book Review: Faithful by Alice HoffmanTitle: Faithful
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.


❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Book Review: Faithful by Alice Hoffman

One thing that is really enjoyable in a novel is when the theme of family is explored. Alice Hoffman shows the reader so many different types of families throughout Faithful. What is really at the heart of Shelby’s ability to overcome her inner demons is through the various families that she becomes a part of. It shows us that blood relatives aren’t always who makes up a family. Although, Shelby does get emotional support from her mother, she grows from her other relationships as well.

❀ YA Crossover

There is something for everyone in this story and I do believe that pegging it into the genre of adult fiction is limiting the audience for this book. Faithful is a book can be enjoyed by young adults as well and I would definitely categorize it as a YA crossover. The protagonist starts off as a teen and I believe that Shelby’s experiences can be very relatable to a YA audience.

❀ Trigger Warnings

Faithful is a book that I actually had a hard time getting into at first. The beginning scenes were quite hard to read and I had to set it down for a little while and return to it. The scenes of Shelby being raped and the harm that she inflicts upon herself are very graphic. However, as Shelby starts to make sense of who she is and becomes more of an adult, these scenes disappear. I do admit that it is very realistic that some teens have these experiences and they are important to explore, but if it is not something you are comfortable reading I will caution you.

❀ Many Themes

Exploring the issues of self-affirmation and the importance of having faith are at the root of Faithful by Alice Hoffman. This is a book that is beautifully written and provides so many themes for the reader to enjoy. I look forward to reading more of Hoffman’s books!

About Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Faithful by Alice Hoffman

  1. Kelly says:

    This sounds like a great book. I haven’t read anything by Alice Hoffman yet, but I’ve heard amazing things about her books. It does seem like it would be hard to read in parts, as you pointed out, though. I might have to check into this one. Fabulous review!

  2. B.B. Toady says:

    Yes, please. Can’t most of use a read that will give us hope in people goodness? This sounds like a book that I would really enjoy. I received Dovekeepers years ago for review but never mad the time to read that or any other Alice Hoffman titles. Maybe I will start with this one. Thank you for the lovely review.

  3. Jaime Lynn says:

    I have never read anything by this author, but she has a serious following. This sounds good, but maybe not my norm. Reading your review makes me a little interested though. We shall see!

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