Friday, January 12, 2018
By the author of the Old Filth trilogy, this was first published in 1996 and was re-issued this year by Europa editions. The title character, Faith, is a beautiful newborn baby throughout the course of this novel, so her actions are limited to the standard baby's repertoire. It's the kooky adults in her orbit that make up the story here. Faith's mother Holly is a cheerful, busy, well-loved force of nature, and her death (on page one) in the delivery room sets in motion a chain of events both moving and very funny. Faith's father feels a little too busy to deal with her, her grandmother is too traumatized, her uncle too spiritual, her aunt too mysterious, and for a while Faith's fate lies in the hand of the Tibs, a group of Tibetan refugees living at a commune run by her Uncle Jack. It all sounds dreadful, but in Gardam's telling it is sweet and absorbing.