Faith by Jennifer Haigh – Audiobook Review

Faith by Jennifer Haigh, narrated by Therese Plummer
Published in audio by Harper Audio; published in print by Harper Books, both imprints of HarperCollins


It is 2002, and Sheila McGann has never regretted leaving the Catholic Church less – nearly the only thing the news reports talk about these days are the priest sex abuse scandals. That these things happen is not particularly a surprise to Sheila, but that her beloved elder brother Art has been accused is a shock bar none.

Thoughts on the story:

I think it is best, actually, to go into Faith without knowing too much about it; at its most basic it is the story of a family whose world view is being severely challenged and whose life is being torn apart. Not only that, it is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Haigh has amazing pacing, and even better characterization and storytelling. I didn’t have a single issue with the plot, the writing, anything while listening. It is a deeply emotional story that rockets the reader deep inside the inner lives of the McGanns, a story you won’t want to put down.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Plummer’s narration is extremely strong, emotional but not overwrought; she hits every note perfectly. The audio production of Faithis so fabulous I was searching high and low for something, anything to do that would give me more listening time. It would not be an overexaggeration to say that I tried my best to plan my life that week around getting more time to listen to Faith.

For a more in-depth review of the audio, please see my review for Audiofile Magazine.


Faith was simply amazing and it will without question be making my ‘best of’ list at the end of the year, thanks in equal part to Jennifer Haigh’s writing and Therese Plummer’s narration.

Very highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Print*
Indiebound: Print*
Audible: Audio

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: Audiofile Magazine.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor – Book Review

The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor

Verna Krone’s family has very little money and her father is of a very advanced age. In order to help support her parents and younger siblings, she has to leave school at the age of 14 in order to be the hired girl for another family. Unfortunately, the man of that house is completely unable and unwilling to keep his hands to himself, and Verna finds herself ‘in trouble.’ Although a potion from a midwife keeps the neighbors from finding out what was done to Verna at the hands of her employer, this was all simply the beginning of her trouble with men.

Verna pretty much has one crappy job after another – and during the Great Depression – and one crappy boyfriend after another. Eventually, though, she manages to make it through nursing school and ends up employed by a a black doctor, Dr. Crampton, who is not only in the center of political life, but also the purveyor of ‘illegal surgeries’ to end unwanted pregnancies. As  Dr. Crampton’s political influence begins to wane, Verna’s life begins to fall apart.

This was a very interesting story, made even more interesting based on the fact that this story was based largely on the story of the author’s grandmother – right down to her name. Knowing that this was a largely true story gave it much more power. That being said, I thought it got just a little bit slow in the middle. I think that much of her soul-destroying work history could have been elided, as I thought her early story and her time working for Dr. Crampton were the most interesting aspects of her story.

Although I think the work could have been a little shorter, the storyline was very interesting and the writing was fantastic. Taylor writes “The Blue Orchard” in present tense which can occasionally pull me out of the story, but I think that in this case it lent itself to a feeling of immediacy and envelopment in Verna’s life. I was so engaged in the story that I actually had to go back after finishing the book to see whether or not Taylor had continued to use present tense throughout the entire novel, because I honestly had no idea.

A very interesting novel about a woman trying to make her way in the world during a very difficult period, and constantly questioning her own beliefs about the prevailing mortality of her time. Recommended.

Buy this book from:

A local independent bookstore via Indiebound

This review was done with a book received from the publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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