Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Shelter by Frances Greenslade
For sisters Maggie and Jenny growing up in the Pacific mountains in the early 1970s, life felt nearly perfect. Seasons in their tiny rustic home were peppered with wilderness hikes, building shelters from pine boughs and telling stories by the fire with their doting father and beautiful, adventurous mother. But at night, Maggie—a born worrier—would count the freckles on her father’s weathered arms, listening for the peal of her mother’s laughter in the kitchen, and never stop praying to keep them all safe from harm. Then her worst fears come true: Not long after Maggie’s tenth birthday, their father is killed in a logging accident, and a few months later, their mother abruptly drops the girls at a neighbor’s house, promising to return. She never does.
With deep compassion and sparkling prose, Frances Greenslade’s mesmerizing debut takes us inside the devastation and extraordinary strength of these two girls as they are propelled from the quiet, natural freedom in which they were raised to a world they can’t begin to fathom. Even as the sisters struggle to understand how their mother could abandon them, they keep alive the hope that she is fighting her way back to the daughters who adore her and who need her so desperately.
Heartbreaking and lushly imagined, Shelter celebrates the love between two sisters and the complicated bonds of family. It is an exquisitely written ode to sisters, mothers, daughters, and to a woman’s responsibility to herself and those she loves.
This is an amazing story of two sisters as different as night and day, who drift apart for a short while as Jenny explores the things a 15 yr old does and Maggie who is younger and more mature gets a job to keep her out of the way of their caregiver, though the sisters need each other more than they realize what they need most is to find their mother, she dropped them off with strangers while she went to look for work and never came back.
After a few years and much talk Maggie and her best friend, Vern, set out to find her. They don't get far though, Vern's Uncle Lewis picks them up on the highway during a thunderstorm and takes them home. Maggie doesn't give up and when Jenny is sent away by the woman their mother left them with she takes off on her search again.
Eventually Maggie solves the mystery. That's all I'll say about that as I don't want to spoil it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it was unpredictable and intense. I could imagine the places and the scenery Maggie describes. The array of characters were very interesting!
Greenslade has an amazing talent, Shelter is about love and loss, family and human strength. I give it 5 stars!
I received a copy of this book free from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Shelter: A Novel
Author: Frances Greenslade
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Free Press
Release date: May 15, 2012
Provided by: Free Press (C/O)