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Shelter Me Paperback – Bargain Price, December 30, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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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: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Avon A; Original edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061673390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061673399
  • ASIN: B003A02WAI
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,723,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful, scrumptious and amazing. This book has got to be a movie. If you have ever talked to yourself at some difficult point in your life and worked out life's problems with this intimate conversation style, this is a must-read. Funniest writer since Janet Evanovich changed the thriller context from horror to laughter for me. Very skillful. The Best...and on and on...one of my favorite modern writers.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Juliette Fay's "Shelter Me" is one of the better books I've read lately. It is the story of Janie LaMarche who is a recent widow and is left with two small children. Janie's husband was killed in a biking accident and her grief and anger know no bounds. She has isolated herself from friends and family but her family still stays involved with her as much as possible.

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.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good story, well told. Sad and funny and true to life. A friend, whose husband just died, said the emotions rang true to life--though I thought the heroine was a little meaner than she needed to be. I don't mind some blue language if it's true to the character and the situation,but I thought it was somewhat excessive and tended to "throw me out of the story." Other than that, I enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm usually an obsessive reader. I find a great novel and read as fast as I can. Shelter Me wasn't like that. It was much slower, but definitely not in a bad "is this over yet? augh!" kind of way -- in a very GOOD way...like, yeah! I'm only 30% through and I have so much left!!! WOOHOO!!! It was a novel that really snuck up on me and I loved it. Juliette Fay, I really LOVED IT! It was like a steaming cup of coffee...I found myself wanting to drink it in slowly, always coming back to the pot for more, so I'd have something to come back to the next day to read. I didn't want it to end.

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! :) :)
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