On a February night, when road conditions were challenging, Shelby Richmond and Helene Boyd were in an accident that left Helene in a coma and Shelby broken in spirit. They were only seventeen when it happened, with their lives ahead of them. Then everything changed.

Shelby spent some time in a psychiatric hospital, and more time afterwards in her family’s basement. She shaved her head and completely turned inward.

Faithful is the magical story of Shelby’s journey back to herself and to feeling worthy of life and love.

From Huntington, on Long Island, to New York City, we follow her as she progresses. Slowly. Her friend, Ben Mink, helps her by being there for her, but when she starts to move on, to find some independence, that chapter in her life is over.

Her love for animals takes her from a pet store job, to working in an animal shelter…and then to college. Her ultimate goal: veterinary medicine. Finally, and slowly, there are friendships…and Shelby begins to shed the tough girl persona, even letting her hair grow out again.

Through the years, somebody is sending Shelby little postcards anonymously, with a short message on each one. The first one says “say something,” and the next one issues the challenge: “do something.”

They all seem to be leading Shelby toward something, and by the time she finds out who is sending them, the last one has said “trust someone.”

I loved the serendipitous moments that felt so magical, as if someone was watching over her. For a time, Shelby believed the postcard writer to be an angel. When she finally discovered who had been guiding her and why, the final piece to the puzzle led to a feeling of closure. And comfort. I loved the characters, and I especially enjoyed seeing Shelby’s growth, and how she finally let herself be happy. A wonderful 5 star read.


***My e-ARC came to me from the publisher via NetGalley.



  2. Nice review. Alice Hoffman is quite a writer. Now you have me curious : was it Helene sending Shelby those postcards? Or did she never recover from the coma? It sounds like it’s a hopeful story which I like a lot better than sheer darkness. I need hope!

    Liked by 1 person

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