Monday, May 24, 2010

Review: Shelter Me by Juliette Fay

Goodreads: In the tradition of Marisa de los Santos and Anne Tyler comes a moving debut about a young mother's year of heartbreak, loss and forgiveness . . . and help that arrives from unexpected sources.

Four months after her husband's death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband - now his last gift to her.
As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow - mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release. Yet Janie's self-imposed isolation is breached by a cast of unlikely interventionists: her chattering, ipecac-toting aunt; her bossy, over-manicured neighbor; her muffin-bearing cousin; and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own.
As the porch takes shape, Janie discovers that the unknowable terrain of the future is best navigated with the help of others - even those we least expect to call on, much less learn to love.

Kritters Thoughts: An amazing read! I absolutely enjoyed and believed in each character. I feel as though each character could be walking the streets of our hometowns today.

I have lost some people in my life to the world beyond - and to hear from one woman's perspective her battle with grief was both heartbreaking and eye opening. I loved how her story felt real. I felt her ups and downs and believed that each moment could be happening to a widow at anytime.
Without revealing the whole plot line, I appreciated her internal judgement and fear of how others would perceive her taking steps towards moving on from this tragedy.

A deep and thought provoking read that I would absolutely recommend.


Total pages: 448

Source: thrift store

2010 Challenge: Charity


  1. This sounds like a wonderful read. It sounds like the kind of book that everyone who is or has experienced grief should read. Will check out the stores and see if I can grab a hold of this book.

  2. Hi Kritter,

    Just saw your very kind review -- I'm so glad you enjoyed Shelter Me! And thanks for spreading the word.

    Juliette Fay


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