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Forms of Shelter [Kindle Edition]

Angela Davis-Gardner
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: $13.00
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $10.01 (77%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Perched amid the leaves of the Osage orange tree in her stepfather’s backyard, Beryl Fonteyn observes the life around her—Mama’s desperate attempts to gain Jack’s approval by writing her novel, which he mercilessly critiques; her brother Stevie’s unhealthy fascination with acting out events from the Bible; and Jack’s obsession with his bees—all the while imagining that her runaway father will one day return. But as Beryl’s adolescent turmoil collides with the confines of Jack’s eccentric home, a shattering secret will divide their loyalties—and in one irrevocable moment the home that Beryl’s family has found, their shelter in the storm, will be torn apart forever. . . .

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this moving, often heartbreaking story, Beryl Fonteyn chronicles her years growing up in Virginia and North Carolina. She is five years old when her adored saxophone-playing father leaves the family in Virginia for a jazz career in Chicago. A few years later, her mother marries Dr. Jack Fonteyn, who introduces his wife, stepdaughter and Beryl's younger brother Stevie to tennis, Greek classics and his passion: beekeeping. On the surface the new arrangement is idyllic, yet the hoped-for love and warmth of family life never materialize as Davis-Gardener's ( Felice ) carefully drawn characters instead connect in a painful, psychologically damaging dynamic spun of loyalty and desperation. Beryl's convincing voice, particularly as a child, lends authenticity to her honest and hard-hitting tale. Readers will identify with her loss and alienation and cheer her eventual courage as she confronts the harsh facts of her childhood.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A swarm of honeybees buzzes in the background of this accomplished novel, their sweet but potentially sinister presence a purposeful leitmotif. Keeper of the bees is Jack Fonteyn, Beryl's stepfather, and it is her relationship with him that increasingly becomes the novel's focus. Told in retrospect by a grown-up Beryl, it is a compelling tale of a stepfamily that never quite becomes whole. Beryl's trust in her too-good-to-be-true stepfather moves closer to devastating betrayal as the pages turn. Seeking redemption, Beryl pours out the old family secrets. Never formulaic, achingly perceptive, Forms of Shelter speaks to the heart. Davis-Gardner's first novel Felice ( LJ 5/1/82) was also a literary success.
- Keddy Ann Outlaw, Harris Cty. P.L., Houston
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 383 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press (October 30, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W967R4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,918 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent But With Caveats February 19, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked this book very much but was bothered by one aspect that didn't come together for me. Jack Fonteyn's character is mostly unexplained. Why did he marry Beryl's mother? Who is he, really? I know this is told through a child's eyes, but I couldn't get a grasp on Jack's character. Otherwise, this is a tale very well and compellingly told.
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