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, overmanicured 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.
©2009 Juliette Fay (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A gorgeous paradox of a book: a deep, thoughtful exploration of a young mother’s first year of widowhood that is as much a page turner as any thriller.” (Marisa de los Santos, New York Times best-selling author)
Haven't read really good chic lit in a while. The best part about Shelter Me was the honesty of the characters. They were totally real and very likeable. Will definitely seek out Juliette Fay's other two novels. The narrator's voice was fine when she was reading character dialog, but her 3rd person voice was really irritating.
The main character Janie has lost her young husband in a bicycle accident and she is angry and bitter. But you can't help but be pulled into her world and root for her. She is a devoted mom and is navigating a new world without her husband. There are some romantic missteps and working out issues with her family and friends. Stay with this story and you will be glad that you did. I hope that Juliette Fay writes some other books available on audible besides Shelter Me and Deep Down True. I have become a fan of her work.
I don’t like the subject. It’s grief and an unlikeable heroine.
This is women’s fiction with some romance at the end. Janie’s husband died in a bicycle accident. The story takes place during the subsequent year.
It’s hard to like a book when you do not like the main character Janie. She is antagonistic, snide, snotty, insufferably irritable, sarcastic, angry, hurting others, and disrespectful to others. One character said to her “You snarl and snipe at people all day long. The people that love you the most you treat the worst as if they’re disposable.”
I want enjoyable and feel good stories. So this was not a good choice for me. 99% of the book is watching Janie’s grief, rage, and meanness to others. Another thing I did not like about her: Janie was going to throw out some of Dillon’s toys when he wasn’t around because he would disagree on what to throw. I find that disrespectful to Dillon.
What a nasty person Janie’s mother was. I did not enjoy watching her. She did something mean concerning Janie and Jake. She should have talked to Janie first before talking to Jake. Later she was critical and insulting about Janie and Tug. If you're going to have a nasty person I'd prefer some reaction, resolution, regret, or change. Here there was no change, just meanness thrown in.
In the physical book the diary pages are written in italic and in 1st person. That is a problem for the audiobook because the reader doesn’t know when it is switching between diary and regular narrative. It was disconcerting to hear changes between 1st and 3rd person. But more important, the diary was a distraction. It should have been eliminated.
WHAT I LIKED:
Marguerite Gavin was excellent. She was wonderful doing dialogue for two 4 year old boys. That had me smiling.
Narrative mode: most is 3rd person Janie, with frequent diary entries done in 1st person.
Genre: women’s fiction, grief.
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