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Shelter Me Paperback – December 30, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After Janie LaMarche's husband, Robby, dies in a motorcycle accident, the 38-year-old Pelham, Mass., widow embarks on a year of transformations in Fay's wise and inspirational debut. Going through the bewildering and painful cycle of grief and anger while trying to hold it together for her children—preschooler Dylan and toddler Carly—is no walk in the park. Enter Tug Malinowski, an attractive contractor Robby had hired to build a screened-in porch to surprise Janie. Tug is divorced, childless and attracted to Janie while she's tempted by Fr. Jake Sweeney, who has a secret life of misery and fears casting aside his vow of celibacy. Fay's mingling of Janie's pithy journal excerpts with crisp traditional plotting adds a nice depth to Janie's journey to emotional healing. The concerns of single motherhood after sudden tragedy come vividly to life, and as Janie learns to appreciate everyday miracles, readers will be charmed. (Jan.)
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Review

''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 bestselling author

''A tender tale . . . Juliette Fay can hit the high notes of emotion with unexpected moments of redemption and wry humor.'' -- Jacqueline Sheehan, New York Times bestselling author

''A richly told story . . . Fay writes with vivid dialog and conjures up characters that feel real enough to be sitting in your kitchen.'' --Lee Woodruff, New York Times bestselling author

''Fay keeps the reader engaged with a vivid descriptive palette evoking the little details of life in a small town. She also does a beautiful job capturing the ebb and flow of single motherhood, from small miracles and little annoyances to the big ordeals . . . Janie's journal entries give uncensored voice to her thoughts, which are tinged with searing insight and often hilarious wry humor. '' --Boston Globe

''Fay's mingling of Janie's pithy journal excerpts with crisp traditional plotting adds a nice depth to Janie's journey to emotional healing. The concerns of single motherhood after sudden tragedy come vividly to life, and as Janie learns to appreciate everyday miracles, readers will be charmed.'' --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 415 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061673390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061673399
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Juliette Fay's latest novel, THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, was chosen as one of Library Journal's Top 5 "Best Books of 2012: Women's Fiction." Juliette's first novel, SHELTER ME, was a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award "Must-Read Book," a Target Bookmark Club selection, and on the American Booksellers Association's Indie Next list. Her second, DEEP DOWN TRUE, was short-listed for the Women's Fiction award by the American Library Association.

Juliette received a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children. When she's not trying to keep track of her kids or daydreaming about her next story, Juliette can be reached on her website, www.juliettefay.com; on Facebook at Juliette Fay, author; and on Twitter @juliettefay.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By TeaFor2 on December 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved Shelter Me. The premise shook me up -- as a mother of young kids I can't even imagine how we would ever deal with losing my husband in an accident. It was a joy to get inside Janie's head and join her world, her struggles to get herself and the kids through every day -- no wonder Rice Crispies will just have to do for dinner sometimes!

The book is full of humor and various forms of love, and the details of life are captured just right. Juliette Fay has woven a fine story full of interesting and quirky characters.

Personally I felt torn between wanting to read the book quickly, eager to see what would happen next, yet not wanting it to end. I highly recommend this book.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By read4fun on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I laughed, I cried. I couldn't put it down, but I didn't want it to end!
Shelter Me made me appreciate the wonderful people & good things in my own life, without being preachy or heavy.
Janie's story is told in part through her own journal entries, giving the reader the chance to experience events through Janie's eyes (and heart). The story moves along, with just the right sprinkling of these entries throughout.

This is a book I'll share and gift (too bad it came out after the holidays this winter).
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Orlov on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since I got into the story of a book enough that it kept me up late (very late!) reading it, but this one did. Fay has captured some of the truths we are all discovering - that life can change drastically in an instant - that help can come from surprising places. She does it with interesting characters, many of whom have fun quirks (don't we all?) I loved the scenes in which her young son dealt with his turmoil by wearing and hiding behind swim goggles.

It's a fun read and highly satisfying. I recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Old book lover on January 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved this book and I shouldn't have. I am an old man and we're not supposed to like "chick-lit." But you know, Shelter Me is much more than that. It is so well written, and some experiences, such a a new widow's grief at the end of the afternoon when her husband no longer comes home, Fay absolutely nails. Describing the emotions of a priest falling in and out of love is a touchy task, and she delivers on that, too.
This is the type of book women will read and then insist that their partners read so they can have someone to talk about it with. It is amazing that this is her first novel. We will anxiously await her next one!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Clio A. on January 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
There are good books you gladly pass on to friends or the local reseller, but Shelter Me is the rare novel I will always keep in my bookcase, too shelfish to lend out and risk losing it. Touching, funny, real - it's a book that keeps you up reading late into the night,and the characters are still with you days after finishing. I surprised myself by crying at least four times and laughing countless times. Juliette Fay - please write more!! You have a true gift!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kate on January 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I began "Shelter Me", I thought, oh, no, here we go again, let's all feel sorry for the widow. But Juliette Fay never had me feeling too sorry for Janie - Janie was tough and was doing OK. Her character development is second to none. If anyone is tired of Jodi Piccoult's too deep, pity party novels, you will definitely be glad you picked up Juliette Fay's Shelter Me. You won't be sorry.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on February 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Banking on the tried and true format of young mother with young children whose husband is killed and she must climb out of her depression with the help of family and oh, yeah, a hunky man all neatly wrapped up in the span of one year. Not to say that this is a bad book, but it's just been done before.

Four months after her husbands untimely death, a building contract shows up to build the dream porch that Janie LaMarches' husband had planned as a surprise, she decides to let Tug go ahead, why not, if she thinks of it as her husband's last gift to her then possibly she can find some peace in it.

Peace is what she needs especially when her family priest keeps making weekly visits and her overly obnoxious but loving aunt, keep trying to help. Help that is that she wishes had truly come from her own mother who seems to be only interested in her own life and spent a grand total of 7 days with Janie when her husband died.

With funny and bittersweet moments, this book tugs on all the right heartstrings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bustudent2011 on January 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book isn't the type of book I usually read, but it came highly recommended by a friend so I gave it a try. I didn't expect it to be a page-turner, but I couldn't put it down! I fell in love with the characters and they stuck with me for days after finishing the book.

Definitely worth reading (and even purchasing for a later re-read!)
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