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Have a little faith
Faith - Lesley Pearse
Member Name: owensmum
Faith - Lesley Pearse
Advantages: Great story, characters, gripping read
Faith is the latest book I have read by one of my favourite authors Lesley Pearse. Lesley Pearse started writing novels fairly late in life, her first book was published at the age of 49. She is a wonderful storyteller and this is her 16th novel. The authors books are usually based on a strong female character and a lot of her earlier books were titled with the said ladies name (eg Rosie, Charity, Charlie). Her usual tales are of a badly done to young girl who grows up to either take revenge on those who have wronged her or to become a major success despite all the odds. There are varieties on the theme and settings to the stories and no matter how many of her books I read I still enjoy them, even if they are all of a similar vein.
~So whats this story about?~
The central character to this book is Laura Brannigan and we start the book in a womens prison in Glasgow in 1995. Laura is in her forties and is serving a life sentence for the murder of her best friend. The friend in question is Jackie Thompson. She and Laura met at a swimming pool when Laura was sixteen years old, a great friendship began and Laura became a part of Jackies family. A few pages in and she gets a visit from an old flame
called Stuart. Stuart has just returned from abroad to find out that Laura is in prison. As Laura maintains that she did not kill Jackie and Stuart believes she is telling the truth he sets about trying to find out the facts behind the case. To do this he employs the help of his friend David Stoyle who is a lawyer.
The book is basically a mystery. In order to uncover the events that led up to Lauras imprisonment we find out about her whole life before. The book is written in the 3rd person and the details of Lauras past are uncovered as she starts to write down things that have happened in her past to tell Stuart. Stuart plays a major role in the story and he travels around visiting various people and discovering facts that backs up his belief in Lauras innocence. The whole book flits back and forth in time as we uncover Lauras friends and enemies and possible suspects for the crime that Laura is in prison for. Laura has made many mistakes in her past that she now regrets and at times it is difficult to like her. I found this quite a departure for the author as her characters are more often than not portrayed as innocent victims of other peoples evil. Don't get me wrong though Laura did suffer at the hands of other people and at times I empathised with her. The chapters detailing her childhood are very typical of the authors usual writing as Laura suffers at the hands of her selfish mother and uninterested father. At other
times though I could not understand or justify her actions. At times we see Laura portrayed as dishonest and becoming involved in a seedy and selfish lifestyle herself. I think that the author chose to make her a bit of a good/bad character to keep up the mystery of whether she is capable of murdering her friend.
So is Laura innocent?
Will Stuart discover the truth?
Is there a happy ending?
You will have to read the book yourself to find the answer to the above and more.
~So what did I think?~
I really enjoyed this book as I expected to. I have enjoyed every other book by the same author and love her writing style. As I have already mentioned I liked the fact that she made Laura a difficullt character to judge. The mystery unravelled slowly throughout the book but was intriguing enough to keep you turning the pages to find out more. The book does contain some quite descriptive scenes of a sexual nature as well as some obscene language and references to drug use. This is something to bear in mind if you are easily offended. Although the drug references are made fairly regularly the sex & language was only on a handful of pages within the book and was necessary to see an insight into the kind of life that Laura chose to lead. Although Laura is the main character, there are many other characters that are important to the story. The author makes it easy to build a picture of each and every one of them. Although the book flits about between the past and present this is at no point confusing or difficult to relate to as I do find with some stories that do this.
Definately. If you have ever read a Lesley Pearse novel before and enjoyed it then you will know what to expect from the author. If you haven't read one of her books before then this would be as good a place as any to start.
Details of all her previous works as well as an email subscription to her newsletter 'among friends' can be found on the penguin website www.penguin.co.uk.
The book has 610 pages to the story and then there is a further section at the back which is about the author. It details her life, her research for the book and what made her write the story. From reading a small section of her life story it would seem that Lesley had a fairly traumatic childhood herself and would explain why the majority of her stories include emotional child experiences.
ISBN : 978-0-141-03048-7
Published by Penguin books in paperback at £6.99.
Available on Amazon from £3.99.
Summary: Another great book from Lesley Pearse