||Feb 7, 2012
The Fast-Changing World of the 1960ís Challenges the Unyielding Belief-System of One Long Island Family
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The Vietnam War is on the nightly news and women are burning bras in the fast-changing world of the 1960s, but thirty-year old Laura wonders why her choice as a feminist couldn’t be to have a baby without marriage. Laura not only has to justify her desire to her forward-thinking friends, but to her fundamentally religious siblings, as well. Yet, her most important mission is to find a man who will agree to impregnate her and then get out of the picture once the act is accomplished. Four narrators push along this charming tale set in 1960s Seabrook, Long Island, as three adult siblings converge in their recently deceased father’s home. Laura is a 30-year-old newspaper columnist from New York. Her brother, Eric, is a compassionate minister trying to find his faith, and sister Beth is an angry and disapproving fundamentalist who is determined to hinder her siblings’ desires in the name of her religion. They share the narration with Eric’s wife, Jenny. Tragic secrets are revealed without resorting to high drama in this portrayal of two separate halves of counterculture and suburban banality. Readers will find Of LIttle Faith by award-winning author, Carol Hoenig, to be uplifting and heartfelt in the most surprising of ways.
Iíve been away for awhile, but now Iím back and surrounded by the familiarity from my younger days. There is the same coffee table, now scratched with age. Up against the wall near the stairs is the stereo console with the built-in turntable, except the needle is broken. The brown couch I am sunk in is threadbare and faded. Yes, itís all familiar and so is the reminder that I donít belong here.
Even though I grew up in this house, I never considered it home. The once brightly painted walls are dingy, the plush carpet, worn down almost to the bare floor. Mom wasnít big on decorating. She concentrated more on preparing for her place in heaven. Beth, Eric and I were expected to do the same. Imagine being required to focus on a place of dubious existence during a time when we were celebrating a won war; a time when the pulsating, unique beat of rock and roll began to pour through the woodwork and into our hungry souls; a time when black and white televisions took up prominent space in the living rooms of our Long Island neighbors. A new world was opening up, one with a variety of mind-expanding ideas, ideas my mother believed were inspired by the devil himself.
But I am older now and young men are being drafted into another war, this one undeclared, and the music is filled with protest and anger. Itís a time for questions.
I have Sundayís Newsday scattered around me and the radio dial on a top forties station.
All the leaves are brown and the sky is greyÖ
Iíve been for a walk on a winterís dayÖ
Dust motes drift in the sunlight streaming through the window and I want to be one of them, the tiniest of specks freer than I will ever actually be. And, normally I would feel relaxed in my jeans and oversized shirtóa shirt that had been my fatherísóbut I am far from comfortable. Maybe itís because Sundays were never a jeans and sloppy shirt day. No, there were years of frilly dresses and patent leather shoes, and being forced to stay dressed that way throughout the Seventh Day set aside for rest and worship. I was a child. I had too much energy to rest, and what did I care about worship?
Once started, had to finish
I read "Without Grace" on vacation at a lakeside cabin years ago and enjoyed it immensely. I have been awaiting Carols second book since then. I too am a member of a book club that meets monthly, so I was thrilled when we got a chance to read "Of Little Faith". I was busy with work studies at the time so I thought I would read it toward the end of the month, but that first night I had to read the first chapter just to get the feel for the story. Big mistake, Sucked me right in, read in bed till way past my normal bed time. That next day instead of going to the gym I sat on the couch till I finished the book. There are not to many books that I read straight through, this was one of them. I enjoy the way Carol entwines her characters. Even if you dislike some of the characters you want to know more about them, and the ones you love, you actually become emotionally connected to.
What can I say except that I gave it 5 Stars. Great book for a book club because you will want to discuss it with others. --Gerald Basile
Couldn't put it down
Right away I was pulled into this story. Every character was so interesting,
even if some of them made me angry at times. What I liked about this is that it
kept me on my toes. I thought maybe the story was going to turn out differently,
but after reading Carol's other stories and books, I knew she wasn't going to
take the copout. Like her novel, "Without Grace," I could see this being made
into a movie, too. Now, I'll be waiting for her next book! --Connie
Of Little Faith
Ever since I read Carol Hoenig's novel, "Without Grace" and heard that she had
another novel in the works, I have been waiting to have the opportunity to read
it. "Of Little Faith" is about one family that has been damaged by fundamental
religion. My book discussion group actually had the opportunity to read it in
manuscript form since we are friends of Carol's and we ended up talking for a
couple of hours about the different points of view that the story brings out.
We all agreed that we enjoyed this novel very much and found that it stirred a
number of questions that we needed to ask ourselves when it comes to faith. I
think this would be a perfect selection for any book discussion group. --Bookgroupy
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