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Shelter Me Paperback – December 30, 2008
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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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''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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Top customer reviews
It was sad and at times, I felt like crying for the main character, her children especially her brave little son, her family members, and those who tried to overcome her grief stricken steel armor to be her friend. Loved Shelly, the cousin, the contractor and the aunt. All rich and well written characters.
As soon as I get home I'm going to download more from Juliette Fay.
Ohhhh, and I almost forgot!! Mike! What a NICE SURPRISE! As the story was progressing, I kept thinking... 'Gosh, Mike is so like my two children and my husband.' Something kept ringing there with Mike's traits, and I knew it before J. Fay announced it in the novel. My husband and boys all have Asperger syndrome, and I loved how this was touched on with gentleness with Mike's character. Such a spot-on introduction to Asperger's without being so in-your-face... well done. Really, it was spot-on perfect. It makes me think Juliette Fay must personally know somebody with Asperger's because to get it THAT right, that perfect... you have to live with it to understand it that thoroughly. I loved it, and when I picked up this novel, I had no idea I'd read anything about Asperger's. For me: a nice surprise. I thought it was a really nice way to subtly raise more awareness about AS without the book actually being about AS...since Mike's just really a secondary character to the actual story. Hat's off to you, Ms. Fay! I really appreciated that. :)
Just bought Deep Down True as well, and I'm already enjoying it. I think I found a new favorite author! :) :)
In the midst of her grief, one day a builder shows up at her house with the plans for adding a porch on to the house. Janie had nothing to do with the porch and realized that it was a surprise gift from her husband and would be his last gift to her. Tug, the builder, understands Janie's grief since he has his own quiet sadness going on.
Part of the story is told through Janie's journal entries which are interspersed with the third person narrative. I enjoyed reading her personal thoughts and Janie was very real to me, as were most of the other characters. This book is well-written with very well developed characters. It isn't a fluffy, sappy story at all, but a genuine look at grief and how it affects one woman's life and the life of her family, friends and even her priest. Janie is down to earth, practical and is trying to keep her children's lives as normal as possible, but the difficulties she encounters with some of the pre-school mothers who are a bit diva-ish are the opposite of Janie. Janie's anger takes on a life of its own when her dressy neighbor is a bit late bringing her son home from a play date. She tolerates her ipecac-toting aunt who will come to Janie's aid whenever she is needed, ipecac or not.