Faith : A Secret Life Thomas Kirkwood

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Kindle Edition

228 pages


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Faith : A Secret Life  by  Thomas Kirkwood

Faith : A Secret Life by Thomas Kirkwood
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 228 pages | ISBN: | 4.39 Mb

Josh Miller, 18 years old, sits in a packed courtroom, accused of the rape and murder of his high-school girlfriend, Faith. The novel, written in first person, recounts the dramatic saga of the last two years from Josh’s point of view. Time isMoreJosh Miller, 18 years old, sits in a packed courtroom, accused of the rape and murder of his high-school girlfriend, Faith. The novel, written in first person, recounts the dramatic saga of the last two years from Josh’s point of view. Time is layered, events are staggered, so we see the action from one character’s many different perspectives.

Sometimes Josh describes extraneous events, sometimes he turns to internal monologue. As a consequence of the novel’s structure, the reader lives the tension between the protagonist as an adolescent and as a man, both in his real physical existence and in his thoughts. Traditional coming-of-age themes are sharpened by Josh’s ability to look back at them from the perspective of a kid forced prematurely into adulthood.So much for general remarks. Within the first few pages, both the reader and Josh realize that the evidence convincingly implicates Josh.

Obviously, we know that the heroine is dead- what we don’t know is why – though the prosecution’s first witness would seem to have told us. We next find ourselves in the months before Josh and Faith meet. Josh’s high school in an affluent Midwestern suburb is preparing to institute a pilot program for gifted kids taught by professors from a nearby university. Parental money talks, a room is transformed into an ideal setting for education, the students surprise everyone, including themselves, by their passionate interest in subjects and ideas that would seem to constitute a formula for adolescent boredom.It is into this class of exuberant, sometimes troubled, always brilliant young people that Faith Hansen walks, a “new girl” from Philadelphia whose credentials are off the chart.

Josh is not interested in those credentials. Faith would seem to be the perfect girl, as sexy as she is smart, endowed with seductive charm and a sense of humor that won’t quit. Though “such things do not happen in his world,” Josh and Faith soon hook up intimately. Their relationship, like Faith herself, seems perfect: it is tender, sincere, profound. The two stake out their private world, an abandoned quarry deep in the woods whose only tie to civilization is a defunct narrow-gauge rail line. Josh builds them a place to be alone- the quarry provides steep walls for rock climbing and a promontory for summer diving.

Much of the action of the novel takes place in and around this idyllic setting. There is of course the school, the courthouse, the occasional road trip.Josh’s emotions as an adolescent painfully in love are paralleled by his later struggle with Faith’s absence – not to mention officialdom’s apparent decision that he is the cause. These emotions peak shortly before Faith’s death, and again as the trial nears its conclusion. What happened to Faith is revealed in shocking fashion at the end of Part II- what happened to Josh must await the denouement of the story.

I’m not going to describe these events here: knowing them will make the novel an entirely different read.



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