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Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
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Shelter Me (2009)

by Juliette Fay

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3853141,442 (3.98)14
Member:passionforthepage
Title:Shelter Me
Authors:Juliette Fay
Info:Avon A (no date), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Shelter Me by Juliette Fay (2009)

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I liked it OK and it was not a book that was hard to get into or anything. There just wasn't much "meat" to the story. In fact, it was pretty predictable. For what ever reason, though, I really liked the main character of the book. I think that the author (Fay) had so many things going on in her own head that she wanted to write about that she seemed to have just thrown in a bunch of stuff she just couldn't seem to develop or she didn't have enough time to finish...Not sure. ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
Janie LaMarche has recently lost her husband Rob in a biking accident. In the four months since his death, she has been balanced on the edge of an overwhelmingly emotional crisis - teetering from heartwrenching grief to blazing anger from day to day. However, her mourning is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of a contractor with a building order to add a porch onto her house. Bewildered by his sudden arrival, Janie slowly realizes that the porch was actually meant to be a surprise from her husband - now his final gift to her.

As a reluctant Janie allows the construction to begin, she steadfastly clings to the familiarity of her sorrow - mothering her two small children with a fierce protectiveness, avoiding well-meaning friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release. Yet Janie's self-imposed isolation is continuously breached by a motley crew of unlikely interventionists, all determined to break through her steely shell of grief. The cast of loving intermediaries includes: Janie's chatty Aunt Jude, for whom a stiff slug of ipecac solves everything; her over-manicured, tremendously nosy neighbor Shelly, whose home visits are so regular Janie can almost set her watch by them; her muffin-bearing cousin Cormac, who considers baked goods to be downright therapeutic; and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own.

So, as the porch begins to take shape, Janie discovers that the unknown terrain of the future is better charted a day at a time. And that any potential potholes she may encounter along the way are best navigated with the help of others - even those who she never expected to call on, much less learn to love.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Everything about it resonated with me: the story was well-written, the characters were entirely believable, and the plot was very well-developed. I'm going to be putting this author's name right at the top of my wishlist and would certainly give this book an A+! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Aug 27, 2017 |
Shelter Me by Juliette Fay sat on one of my to be read shelves for a long time but I finally took it down and really enjoyed the story. After a little bit of reading it became addictive.

The main character Janie LaMarche has recently lost her husband and is grieving for him. They had a wonderful life together and her husband, Robbie gave her a gift that he had not told her about, an addition of a porch to their house. Janie has two children to raise, Dylan, a bright inquistive and sensitive 4 years old boy and Carly, who is 8 months old. It seems that without the children, she might pull into herself and become a hermit. But she has to deal with getting on with life even though her husband's death still seem unreal.

Her mother abandons her in her grief for a trip to Italy and she has never learned how to relate to her brother who has Asperger's. She wants shelter and comfort and reaches out the parish priest who has weekly visits to her house. But he has secrets to deal with and they become intertwined emotionally.

In the background is the carpenter who creates the porch as something that is to be loved and and he emerges into her life. She feels guilt for enjoying his friendship and closeness so soon after her husband's death. The author does very well in creating believable characters and and ones that you are for. Reading it makes me feel affection for the author and I hope to read many more of her books. ( )
  Carolee888 | Jun 4, 2017 |
Young wife loses husband in accident and struggles to move on. Lots of mis-cued emotions. Interesting subplot re the priest. Not a perfect ending, but a believable one. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 29, 2016 |
Janie LaMarche is suddenly widowed at age 38 after seven wonderful years of marriage. Her husband Robby, out riding his bike, was hit by an older driver. She has two children, Dylan, 4, and Carly, who is only 8 months old. Janie is sad, angry, and fearful. Into this house of emotional land mines comes Tug Malinowski, a 45-year-old contractor previously hired by Robby to build Janie a screened-in porch. Tug doesn’t know the man who hired him is dead; he offers to tear up the contract, but Janie decides that if Robby wanted it, she should go through with it.

But this isn’t a straight-forward predictable romance. There are a lot of other issues added to the story. Janie feels abandoned by her mother, who took off for Italy rather than helping Janie through this period of mourning. Janie has a twin brother Mike, but he has Asperger’s, and is not someone from whom she can get emotional sustenance. Her best friend and neighbor now has a boyfriend, and is moving away to be closer to him. Janie turns to the young parish priest, Jake, who insists on visiting her weekly, and with whom Janie gets dangerously close. Through it all, including numerous angry outbursts from Janie, Tug hangs in there, helping quietly in the background. Eventually Janie thinks there might be a path to happiness for herself, but like many people in her position, she is afraid to be happy; afraid to betray the memory of her husband, and afraid of risking more loss.

Evaluation: This is a good “women’s lit” book, with perhaps too many issues thrown in (some problems of contemporary Catholicism also come into play, such as pedophilia, celibacy, and holiday Catholics; as well as conflicts with relatives and urban crime), but then again, life is complex in just that way. The author does a good job of keeping the reader’s sympathies with Janie, despite Janie’s petulance and emotional volatility. ( )
  nbmars | Apr 7, 2015 |
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For Tom, with great love
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Today wasn't so bad.
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This sound went out from them...it was one sound...It was something else, something that's always there, like the rumble of the earth's core. It was like the hum of all the world's sorrow. (p. 74)
Sometimes a friend wants more from us than we want to give. That friend wants something that seems UNREASONABLE....That friend keeps ASKING us for something he NEEDS...And when WE'RE the guy that needs the bread, we have to persevere. Because sometimes peopledon't know how to listen, and we gotta keep asking. "We gotta keep knocking on each other's doors, because otherwise," Father Gilroy glared at the congregation, "WHAT'S the POINT." (p. 324)
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A young mother and widow learns how to deal with her husband's sudden recent death.

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