All Faith Harp wants is a quiet life—to take care of her troubled brother, Sam, earn enough money to stop the poverty wolves snapping at her heels, and to keep her past buried as deep as possible. And after years of upheaval, she might have just about managed it: Sam’s latest treatment seems to actually be working, Faith is holding down a job, and she’s engaged to the gorgeous and successful Perry.
But, for Faith, things never seem to stay simple for long. Her domineering mother-in-law-to-be is planning a nightmare wedding, including the wedding dress from hell. And the man who killed her mother is released from prison, sending her brother tumbling back into mental illness.
When secretly planning the wedding she really wants, Faith stumbles across a church choir that challenges far more than her ability to hold a tune. She ends up joining the choir, led by the fierce choir-mistress Hester, who is determined to do whatever it takes to turn the group of ragtag women into something spectacular. She also meets Dylan, the church’s vicar, who is different than any man she has ever met before . . .
Beth Moran lives in Nottingham with her husband, and three children. When she’s not writing, Beth helps lead a national women’s network.
Beth Moran knows how to write characters that are real — real in their attitudes, struggles, and emotions. Characters that make you want to climb into the book and become their best friends. I have now read three novels by Moran and can honestly say that each successive book is my favorite. The Name I Call Myself was such a satisfying read. I laughed, I cried, and I loved every minute of it. The best book I have read by Moran . . . until the next one is out!
Faith Harp is a survivor. From violent childhood trauma through abuse by a menacing boyfriend on to the struggle of keeping her mentally ill and drug-addicted brother alive, Faith adapts to her surroundings and settles for good enough. But with the help of an odd assortment of other surviving women, Faith learns to take control and live.
Written from the first person perspective of Faith, The Name I Call Myself has great moments of wit and humor. It also examines tough issues like mental illness and abuse. Although Faith is the main character and it is her story that is central, there is an ensemble cast of characters that give the novel an added depth; a feeling of fellowship and community between women who love each other. The choir that becomes Faith’s outlet and therapy was the highlight of the book for me. I couldn’t wait for the next team-building exercise that director Hester had in store for them — truly laugh out loud funny! But the lessons learned by the choir (and the reader) made all of the mud, scrapes, and self-examination worth it. As Faith puts it after recognizing the importance of shouldering each other’s burdens:
I made a decision not to keep trying to carry my load alone. It wants heroic. It was stupid. And prideful. And bordering on obsessive. (p. 204)
Faith had many names throughout her life, but she and the others soon could call themselves courageous, capable and worthy.
An added bonus to the hilarity and the soul-searching was the romantic thread that Moran includes. It’s not a major part of the story, but it does add some sweetness and spice.
Another winner from Beth Moran, The Name I Call Myself is a book I will be recommending to all my friends. It gets a highly recommended rating from me.
To purchase this book, click HERE.
(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)