Faith Fox

Gardam, Jane. Faith Fox. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003.

While the title of this book is Faith Fox, Faith is not the star of the show. The real star is her deceased mother, Holly. Holly Fox died of a blood clot while giving birth to Faith and her passing devastates everyone who knew her. Holly’s overly loving mother, Thomasina, can’t face the newborn who killed her daughter so she runs away with a widower, not even attending Holly’s funeral. Then there is Holly’s overworked doctor husband, Andrew, who can’t deal with a newborn emotionally or physically. He decides to cart the baby off to his brother Jack’s Tibetan commune in northern England. There, Andrew reconnects with his pre-Holly love interest, Jocasta (now married to Andrew’s brother, Jack). It is all of these characters that make Faith Fox so interesting. Threaded throughout the story is the push-pull struggle of north versus south England. Underlying prejudices shape certain characters and their behaviors.
This is one of those books you have to read carefully or else you might miss something. Gardam’s language is conversational, almost conspiratorial. It’s as if she is leaning in and speaking under her breath, all in a rush to tell you all the dirty secrets.

Reason read: Jane Gardam’s birth month is July.

Author fact: In 1999 Gardam was awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime’s commitment to literature.

Book trivia: This has been described as a “comedy of manners” in more than one review.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Jane Gardam: Too Good To Miss” (p 96).

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