Amy's Reviews > Shelter Me

Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
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's review
Apr 17, 2010

really liked it
Read from April 12 to 17, 2010

Four months after the tragic death of her husband, Janie is greeted at the door by a contractor who has come to make a porch addition on her home. The twist is that Janie did not request the contractor and had no idea that any renovating would even be happening. This porch was a gift that her husband, Robby, had decided to buy for her as a surprise gift.

Although Janie is in no mood and has no desire for a new porch, the job has already been paid for and the contractor, Tug, insists that it was definitely something her husband would have wanted.

As the construction begins on the house, Janie’s heart and life are under construction as she discovers who she is without her spouse. An unlikely support group forms- the well-intentioned priest who comes even when Janie swears at him and dreads his visits, the busy-body aunt who fills in for her absent mother, her cousin who brings her treats from his bakery with his Barbie-look-alike photographer girlfriend, the bossy neighbor who knows exactly how Janie should handle things, and even the quiet contractor that witnesses the comings and goings of this unlikely cast of characters that help Janie get to a place of healing and acceptance for what has happened.

The novel is moving in a way that I can’t describe. It made me laugh out loud because of Janie’s brutal honesty, it made me cry when Janie faced her times of loneliness and the way that the children react to their father’s absence, and it made me wish to see the character to find happiness again, even if it means she must move on from her husband, the love of her life.

The book immediately sucked me in, but it was a little longer than probably necessary as some of the character development that didn’t necessarily need to be there, had been developed by the author. Other than a little bit of dragging at the end, it was a flawlessly beautiful novel that will make me hug my husband a little tighter and created an awareness of how fragile our relationships can be. I can’t recommend this one enough!

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