Sunday, May 2, 2010

Review: Shelter Me by Juliette Fay

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.
I have to admit that I bought this book because of the cover. I love this cover! Every time I saw it at our local Target store I would look at it longingly. I finally decided to buy it and I am so glad that I did.
This is a heart warming story about Janie’s journey during her first year of widowhood. Her husband died in an accident and she finds herself struggling to get through each day. In steps her family and friends, all wonderfully quirky characters, to help her out. Janie’s wit, sarcasm, and honesty had me laughing out loud so many times. I felt her grief and anger and yes, even shed a few tears for (with?) her. This story made me stop and think about how life can change in an instant and how help often comes from unexpected places. Haven’t we all wondered what we would do if we lost someone near and dear to us? Juliette Fay has filled this story with so much love, humor and compassion. There is even a love story with a happy ending for those romance lovers out there.
This is truly a wonderful first novel by this author. I give it an A.


Jen said...

Awesome first post, Jane! You made me want to read it :)

Jane said...

Thanks Jen! Janie was such a great character that I found myself cheering her on as she pulled her life back together. The secondary characters were just as wonderful. I have a feeling that I will be rereading this book some day.