Book Review: Shelter: A Novel by Frances Greenslade
Every now and then I find a book that I can’t put down. Equally infrequently I find a book that is painful to read, either because it is so realistic and the material is difficult for me to get through or because the book is not very well written. Shelter: A Novel by Frances Greenslade was painful for me to read and it fell into the realistic category. There is no doubt about it that Greenslade is a talented writer, but a book written about two girls who have what seems to them like a happy family that implodes within a year is gritty and you keep wanting something to change for them. There is little redemptive value or a-ha moment coming from the clouds and throughout the novel I found myself wishing that I could quit the book because it just didn’t seem fair that so much could happen to two people.
Maggie and Jenny are two sisters whose parents do not have much, but there is a lot of love in the family. Their father is a logger and dies in a freak logging accident, which sends their mother into a tailspin. In her unsuccessful attempt to keep them together, she gives them to friends of their father’s and makes some decisions that affect all of their lives forever. When she suddenly stops writing to them and sending money to their foster parents, Maggie and Jenny are left wondering what happened to her and, worst of all, was it their fault? Shelter takes us through their brief journey to discover what happened during those years and to learn where their mother went when she abandoned them. Most of all, their journey to discover why is one that is fraught with emotion. This is a dramatic novel and, with such well done writing, I found it difficult to look upon the characters with detachment. It is not for the faint of heart.
I received a copy of this book for free in order to review it on my blog. All thoughts on this book are honest and my own.