The subtitle of Leap of Faith, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, could easily be “Everything You Wanted to Know About Becoming Catholic but Were Afraid to Ask.” While Abby’s deep frustration with her parents and her inner turmoil about her past are big components of the book, her move to accept the Catholic faith is a big focal point.
Abby gets kicked out of school for hurting a boy in an act of desperation to get him to leave her alone. Her parents put her in Catholic school, even though they are not Christian. There Abby finds a good friend, an expression of herself in drama, and an interest in Catholicism. At first it’s more about making her parents mad or making them even notice her for a change. The question for her, and for the readers, is how real is her desire and how strong is her faith?
I was surprised by how much the book was about religion, but I thought it was handled with honesty and sensitivity. I learned a lot, and I could relate to the character’s wrestling with her own spriritual choices. I wouldn’t have picked up this book if it hadn’t been on the Cybils short list, thinking that it wasn’t my type, but it was an interesting read and would make a perfect choice for book clubs wanting to explore books about faith that aren’t only about faith.
Countdown to MotherReader announcement is at 48 Hours. That’s a hint, people.