Matters of Faith
Berkley, Aug 2008, $14.00
When Marshall Tobias was twelve years old he watched his best friend Ira die in a horrific accident. He grieved his loss with the only solace he found coming from Ira’s brownie making mom. Marshall questioned his faith and searched other paths, but all the jewelry he collected proved to be junk. His parents are upset with his condemnation of a God who would allow such a death, but Marshall will not bend.
He begins to turn to his girlfriend Ada’s belief system in search of solace. Marshall brings Ada to meet his parents who are totally disenchanted with some of her radical thoughts; especially when she espouses prayer and exposure therapy instead of medicine. They become irate when Marshall and Ada try to persuade his sister Meghan to pray for her heath rather than undergo medical treatment. The split family meets in court as her parents demand judicial intervention to insure their daughter receives proper medical care.
This tale digs deep into A MATTER OF FAITH as readers learn how the two opposing camps feels about caring for Meghan’s life threatening food allergies through the perspectives of Marshall and his mother Chloe; each represents a side in the debate. The five prime characters come across genuine making the faith vs. medical science argument that much stronger; fascinatingly Marshall seeking to fill his belief vacuum since Ira died has adopted Ada’s contention, which adds to the overall strength of the novel. Kristy Kiernan provides a strong tale populated by real people divided over what to rely on.