Monday, August 6, 2012

Holding On To Faith by Joy Argento

Publisher:          Ride the Rainbow Books     

Faith Hughes and Sami Everette meet because they attend the same church and become housemates when Sami rents a room to Faith.  Religion is very important to both women, especially Faith, and at first things go fine.  Before long an attraction develops between the women and the title of the book takes on two meanings.  Faith decides that, to save them both, she has to marry a man like her church, family and society expect her to.  Sami finds herself reexamining her beliefs in light of her feelings for Faith and trying to persuade Faith not to go through with this farce at the same time.  The question becomes whether Sami can have faith and keep Faith at the same time.

This book needed serious editing.  There is an editor listed at the front of the book, but the reader will quickly wonder if she did anything.  There are mistakes on practically every page.  Sometimes it’s a word left out or the wrong verb tense in a sentence.  In one place a character “padded” another one on the head instead of “patted.”  A character has on a skirt with “pleads” instead of “pleats.”  If this had only happened two or three times, it wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but it was rampant from beginning to end.

The story itself is alright.  There have been other books about the same topic that covered it better, but this one gets the idea across.  Sometimes being religious and gay is difficult.  Some parts of the story seem rushed and there is the obligatory crisis that resolves the issues.  A little trite, but it works for this story.  Faith can be an irritating character for those who don’t understand what it means to be raised in an environment that hammers in the idea that homosexuality is a sin and a mental illness.  Those communities still exist and that means that Faith’s behavior is not unusual, if difficult for some people to understand.  The reader may feel at times that someone needs to take a stick and hit one of the characters in the head with it.  The problem is whether it should be Faith for how she thinks or Sami for how she puts up with Faith. Faith is the weaker of the two characters, so she has the most to overcome, but it’s aggravating that she has no appreciation for the search that Sami goes on to see if religious beliefs can be made compatible with homosexuality.  Sami’s character is definitely drawn with more compassion.

Holding On To Faith is fine for general entertaining reading.  If mistakes bother the reader, it’s going to take a lot of teeth gritting to get through this.  If intolerant religious beliefs are a trigger factor, this isn’t the book for you.

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