Things Without a Name

Joanne Fedler, Author
Joanne Fedler. Allen & Unwin/Arena (IPG, dist.), $18.95 trade paper (392p) ISBN 978-1-74237-587-8
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Despite her name, Faith Roberts has very little hope to cling to in her everyday life. She's in her 30s, but still reeling from the death of her infant brother—when she was three—and the passing of her chronically-ill 17-year old best friend, Josh. As the legal counselor at a women's rape and domestic abuse agency, her clients' dark experiences reaffirm her distrust in men and remind her "how lethal love can be." Fedler compellingly draws us into Faith's emotional confusion, relying on lyrical similies ("Poverty hangs around here like a teenager with nothing better to do.") to draw images of her often cynical state of mind: "If you've got a choice between ongoing gratitude or a once-off, go with the once-off…[she] acts like she has a gratitude servitude over me in perpetuity." Eventually, through Fedler's expressive prose, the realization that "[t]hings without a name still matter," awakens Faith to how emotionally closed she has been, slowly inspiring her to closely question her parents and bravely seek out a new relationship. (June)
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