Thursday, July 16, 2009

Matters of Faith by Kristy Kiernan

Cal and Chloe Tobias think they have a pretty good life. They are living in Florida where she restores paintings and he runs fishing trips through the Everglades, with their 12 year old daughter, Meghan, and their 18 year old son, Marshall, who is away at college. Marshall witnessed his best friends death when he was 12 years old, being hit by a train, and has since spent all of his time in search of new religions and faiths. Chloe has helped him along the way, in educating him about different beliefs. Meghan, who is quickly growing up and has a major fascination with Winona Ryder, suffers from severe allergies. When fed peanut butter as a 2 year old she went into anaphylactic shock and her parents have had to educate everyone she comes into contact with about her allergies and changes that need to be made.

Chloe is excited when she gets an email form Marshall saying he is coming home for spring break and is bringing a girl, Ada. Chloe and Cal's marriage is starting to get rocky, so she is hoping her son's return, with a girlfriend, will slowly begin to mend things between them. Marshall and Ada arrive and Ada is a twin to Winona Ryder, so Meghan is absolutely enamored. She follows her everywhere, they share Meghan's room, and Meghan is in complete awe. Ada, meanwhile, has secrets of her own. While talking to Ada in Meghan's room, she finds her EpiPen and asks Chloe what it is. After explaining, Ada asks if they have ever tried an organic, whole foods approach or researched that Meghan may not have allergies at all, but it is from the pesticides, etc put on foods. Chloe gently shuts her down, they have lived with this for years, gone to many doctors and know what they are dealing with, but a bug has now been put in Meghan's ear, so to speak.

Marshall and Ada go out on Cal's boat and Meghan comes along. They stop at a store on their way to buy some food and get cookies, peanut butter and chocolate chip. While out on the boat Ada convinces Marshall, who is completely obsessed with his girlfriend and her eccentric beliefs, that Meghan isn't really allergic to peanuts and it they give her some and then pray over her, she will be healed. Marshall gives in and the story takes off at page 100 when Marshall and Ada are arrested for child abuse with extenuating circumstances, Meghan in the hospital in a coma doctor's don't know if she'll ever come out of, and Chloe and Cal fighting for the lives and well-being of their children, and their marriage.

Great story, well paced, I wanted to not work at all and just read it to see what happened. Some points I just wanted to reach in the book and slap some of the characters, especially Marshall, for being so naive. You don't feel like you are reading a book, but feel like you know this family and what they are going through. The story focuses on the Tobias family, Ada, religion, faith, secrets, and how far you would go for your family. I felt the story focused more on the mother than anyone else and she really got on my nerves sometimes.

All in all, great book, major page turner, and I can't wait to read more of her books.

4 stars

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