It’s important to say at the outset that isn’t a book about religion – which is what I thought when I saw the title. It’s actually about a young girl called Faith, and the first part of the book focuses on her early life with her twin sister Charity, flashing between the present and the past – but beautifully done.
The novel starts with a remarkable opening line: “The first time my sister died, we were three years old” and builds steadily and consistently from this point, creating a sad tale of two young girls brought up in an apparently loveless home. It continues until Faith is in her early twenties.
It has a mixture of styles, from heartbreakingly sad to tense and scary, and Christine Dougherty carries them all off well. In places, her writing is superb and her use of imagery excellent. Although it’s not the usual action thriller style that is my preference in books, I found it totally compelling.
The Plot, Characters and Pace – 5 for writing style, 4 for plot
The plot was intriguing and imaginative. The characters were well-drawn, and some were emotionally complex. Dougherty did an outstanding job of painting a picture of the lives of the twins. It isn’t a fast paced plot – but then it’s not meant to be. It’s a gradually unravelling story, with many hints thrown out about mysteries that are revealed as the book continues, and I couldn’t stop reading.
I did feel, though, that there were a number of elements that weren’t explained fully by the end of the book. I know there is to be a sequel so perhaps this is intentional. But it did leave me slightly frustrated. I definitely won’t introduce any spoilers into my review, but there was an underlying reason why the girls lives were as they were, and I felt that this provided an opportunity for a more sinister feel in places. The end of the story leaves the reader in some doubts about the future – but again, that is no doubt intended as a lead in to the second book. Nevertheless I did feel a slight sense of disappointment that the ending wasn’t quite up to the truly exceptional quality of the majority of the book.
That said, I would strongly recommend it to anybody who likes well written novels with a good storyline and credible – if not necessarily likable – characters. The exceptional quality of the writing makes it a book that is well worth reading. It deserves 4.5 stars really.
The quality of the experience – grammar, formatting, etc – 5
I don’t make a note every time I find an error, but I have no recollection of any grammatical or logical errors in the story at all. There was certainly nothing to detract from the enjoyment of the novel. Personally I prefer space before and after em dashes – but I know that I am technically incorrect.
Unlike several of the Kindle version of books that I have read, this one was well formatted with no visual distractions.
This review was completed on behalf of the Kindle Book Review, so no comment is made about the price, or value for money.