Award-winning author Ellen Wittlinger is known for her emotional and poignant teen novels like SANDPIPER and Printz Honor Book HARD LOVE. In her latest effort, BLIND FAITH, she delivers yet again with a tale of loss and new beginnings.
When 15-year old Liz Scattergood's grandmother Bunny dies, Liz's mother falls into a depression. People always said that Liz's mom and Bunny were "more like sisters or best friends than mother and daughter," which makes Liz feel strange. How come she isn't like this with her own mother?
Her mother is so depressed over the loss of Bunny that she won't get out of bed or work on her pottery in the studio. Then one day, she announces she's going to the Singing Creek Spiritualist Church to "contact Bunny." Liz's father, an atheist, isn't thrilled about the idea, but Liz's mother goes, and only then does her life return to normal. She gets out of bed. She works on her pottery. And now, she goes to the Spiritualist Church every week. Although Liz isn't sure what she thinks of the spiritualists, she agrees to go with her mother and hopes that maybe they will bond over their experience of contacting Bunny. But this just pushes Liz's father away and causes more of a rift within the family.
While Liz is dealing with her own chaos, she becomes entangled with the lives of the new neighbors: Nathan, a boy her age, and Courtney, his younger sister. Nathan, Courtney, and their mother Lily have just moved in with their grandmother, the old lady who lives across the street and who Liz calls Crabby. But as Liz gets to know Nathan, she learns that he has problems too. His mother has a terminal disease and she might die. Plus, everyone's keeping it a secret from Courtney because she's too young to understand.
As Nathan and Liz confide in each other about their problems, they become close and a tender friendship and romance emerge.
Ellen Wittlinger is a wonderful writer who has an amazing ability to portray realistic teens in difficult situations. She gets right to the root of emotional issues and twists them in a way that readers can relate and sympathize deeply with the characters. Even though BLIND FAITH deals with the topic of death, there are many uplifting moments in this story.
Reviewed by Kristi Olson on October 18, 2011
- Publication Date: June 20, 2006
- Genres: Fiction
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
- ISBN-10: 1416902732
- ISBN-13: 9781416902737