Faithful

Title: Faithful
Author: Janet Fox
Publisher: Speak – Penguin Group, Inc
Release Date: May 13, 2010

Sixteen-year-old Maggie Bennet’s life is in tatters. Her mother has disapeared and is presumed dead. The next thing she knows, her father has dragged Maggie away from their elegant Newport home, off on some mad excursion to Yellowstone in Montana. Torn from the only life she’s ever known, Maggie is furious and devastated by her father’s betrayal. But when she arrives, she finds herself drawn to the frustratingly stubborn, handsome Tom Rowland, the son of a park geologist, and to the wild romantic beauty of Yellowstone itself. And as Tom and the promise of freedom capture her heart, Maggie is forced to choose between who she is and who she wants to be.

Maggie is an amazing character. She was so well-written; I truly experienced what she felt. I was crying in anger, sadness, and devastation throughout the book, but it wasn’t a sad book. It was actually a book about a young girl learning that she has the potential to control her own life, to decide what she wants, and that wanting something is okay. As she grew into her role, and it took the entire book for her to do so, Maggie expressed so many emotions – it was basically an emotional rollercoaster from the early 1910’s. She was angry and frustrated, but she also had her own little moments of stolen happiness around the barriers her father and other controlling men set up around her.

Despite the fact that I totally sympathized with Maggie with pretty much her entire plight, I couldn’t help but hate her a little the times that she put her foot in her mouth around Tom, and even within her own thoughts. I appreciated that she thought about the incidents afterwards, and that she wasn’t a perfect main character. I also thought that Tom was a really harsh on her the first couple of times, but especially the last, when Maggie didn’t do anything wrong. Their whole relationship rocked back and forth the entire story.

The setting of the story was beautiful. The descriptions were amazing, and I loved the photography hobby. It really allowed the details to come to life, and since I’ve been to Yellowstone, I know exactly what Maggie’s talking about with her conflicted feelings, at first. Yellowstone is pretty desolate at first glance, especially around the geysers. But once you see how amazing geysers like Old Faithful are when you see them, and the abundance of wildlife that is there, I absolutely loved visiting there. It’s beautiful, and mesmerizing to see the wonders in nature there.

The mystery with Maggie’s father – the secrets that he kept from her even after her betrayal were intense, and that added stress to Maggie’s story completely pulled me in and I was amazed at the detail put into the entire thing. There were no side-stories, or minor details. The entire book was so important, and nothing was left out or left for guessing at. Honestly, I really want a sequel, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Still, I highly recommend this book to romantics, outdoorsy people, and anyone who can appreciate the plight of a feminist controlled by the men she is supposed to be able to trust.

~Yours Truly

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