Monday Review- "Matters of Faith" by Kristy Kiernan

This Monday Review is brought to you by author Kristy Kiernan, and her award-winning novel, Matters of Faith. The story revolves around the Tobias family. When 12-year-old Meghan has a medical crisis related to her peanut allergy, the entire family is forced to dig deep and deal with issues that have been bubbling below the surface.

"Genuine" is the word that came to mind as I read this book. I too have had people say, “if it’s organic peanut butter, than it’s safe, right?” We too removed carpets, curtains and stuffed animals from our home in an effort to control allergic symptoms. Kristy Kiernan really understands what it’s like to live with a food allergy in the household. I was certain that she must have a food allergy or be close to someone who does.

“Not so,” said Kristy when I recently interviewed her by phone. “This story really began when I read about 15-year-old Christina Desforges." (You may remember this Canadian teenager reportedly suffered a fatal allergic reaction after kissing her boyfriend, who had recently eaten a peanut butter snack.)

” I started thinking about how scary it must be for parents to raise a food allergic child. Then I started wondering what would happen if the parents didn’t believe in medical intervention for religious reasons, . My interest in faith and religion just kind of collided with this interest in food allergies," Kristy told me.

Kristy’s empathy shines through her writing as she expertly weaves the story. It will be tempting to peek at the end, but try to refrain and trust that Kristy will give closure and allow us a glimpse into the future of the lives of the characters we’ve come to care about.

I hope every parent, grandparent, relative, teacher, neighbor, anyone who knows someone with a food allergy, has an opportunity to read Matters of Faith. Kristy admits that she didn’t set out to write a book to educate others about food allergies.

Fortunately for us, it does just that, in a beautiful and compelling way.

Learn more about Kristy Kiernan at her blog.

For more food allergy information, go to the Food Allergy Assistant's website.
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