Shelter Me

By Juliette Fay
(William Morrow Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061673399, 448pp.)

Publication Date: January 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Audio Cassette, Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2009 Indie Next List
“This debut novel features family, friends, and grief in a touchingly warm and funny way. I cried and laughed with Janie LaMarche as she figures out how to go on living without her beloved husband. Fay's characters run the gamut and could live next door to any of us.”
-- Judy Manzo, Book Ends, Winchester, MA
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“Janie LaMarche has been recently widowed by a preventable accident. She is left with two young children and a lot of grief and anger, but also with the kind of family we all would hope for. As we read, her grief is palpable, her frustration with people and their clumsy attempts at sympathy understandable. This is a novel with wonderful book group discussion potential.”
-- Patricia Worth, River Reader LLC, Lexington, MO


Description

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, over-manicured 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.




About the Author

Juliette Fay 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 young children. Shelter Me is her first novel.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The theme of shelter, both literal and figurative, arises again and again throughout the course of the story. Who shelters whom? Are all the instances of "sheltering" helpful, or are some misguided?

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