Mariah and Colin White have never exposed their daughter, Faith, to any religious information and yet, as her parent's marriage ends, she talks to a God-like being, experiences symptoms of stigmata and provides acts of healing. Faith White is the only child of Mariah and Colin White, who have recently divorced as the result of his infidelity that resulted in a pregnant for the mistress. Unfortunately, she has seen more than she should of the situation, given that she walked in on her father and his mistress together, at her home, when she and her mother arrived home early one day.
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As the child of a Jewish mother and a Christian father, she has been raised with no religious teachings. With everything going on in her life, it is not surprising when she begins to speak with what appears to be an imaginary friend she calls her "Guard".
However, when her "Guard" actually could be God, it's a bit hard to believe for everyone. It becomes hard to cope with for her, when she is teased horribly at school for talking to someone that the other children cannot see.
Her mother is not sure what to believe and is concerned that the issue Faith is experiencing could relate to the divorce, depression or the early onset of a mental illness. The situation evolves again when Faith shows signs of stigmata and is able to spontaneously heal people.
Due to the fact that it would be almost impossible in modern society to have something like this happen without the media knowing about it, their home is soon invaded by reporters. In addition, there are religious individuals who already revere Faith, based only on their minimal knowledge of her, and Ian Fletcher, a television celebrity. He is sure that this is a scam of some sort and it is his job to prove that it is all a hoax, on nationwide television.
Faith's father, Colin, has run off to Vegas where he married his pregnant mistress. Although he did not seem to care much about Faith's emotional health when he was cheating at home with his mistress, he is now allegedly concerned and sues for custody.
Mariah and Ian fight, reconcile and fight again when they coincidentally run into each other away from home and Faith attempts to heal his autistic brother that few people know about.
Faith is admitted to the hospital and nearly dies, when her mother is forbidden by the courts from seeing her. She becomes well when her mother is able to resume her place in Faith's life.
It is important for the reader to be aware that Mariah has suffered with numerous bouts of depression throughout her life. The most recent emotional blow from the affair and divorce induced another one that did not cause hospitalization, but she did call her mom to help.
Mariah is not sure what to believe about her daughter's new abilities, but she desperately wants to believe that her daughter believes that it is real. When Mariah and Colin go to court to fight over custody, some ugly things are brought up about both of them, including that Mariah has been hospitalized for depression and Colin's affairs.
Ultimately, she wins and maintains custody of Faith and throughout the novel we see Mariah forming a stronger relationship with her own mother, Millie Epstein. At the end of the book, Faith seems to have lost her abilities and her “Guard”, but the final scene is written to allow the reader to decide is Faith was faking everything or if she is now faking having lost her abilities.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like that it is not a book about religion, instead it is a book about questioning what you BELIEVE and why you believe it. At the end, nobody really knows what has happened or what will happen to Faith in the future and that made it more realistic.
Best scene in story:
Soon after Faith's hands start to hurt, she wakes up in the middle of the night and has a conversation with her Guard. Prior to that, she remembered another time that woke up in the middle of the night and her foot had fallen asleep. Her mother sent her back to bed, telling her it was just "pins and needles". It was a cute scene that reminds you how young and literal Faith still is, because she looked on her feet and the floor, but never saw any pins and needles that could have caused her discomfort.
Opinion about the main character:
Although may disagree, I believe that this book is about Faith. I like that she is a child, with child-like tendencies who accepts what is happening to her. Adults or even teenagers have the verbal and reasoning skills to question her experiences, especially when you consider that she has no religious background of any type. However, even when she is bullied at school and bombarded at home by reporters, she accepts her new abilities as fact.