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Forms of Shelter

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Perched amid the leaves of the Osage orange tree in her stepfather’s backyard, Beryl Fonteyn observes the life around her—Mama’s desperate attempts to gain Jack’s approval by writing her novel, which he mercilessly critiques; her brother Stevie’s unhealthy fascination with acting out events from the Bible; and Jack’s obsession with his bees—all the while imagining that her ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published 1991)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  55 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Danece Stapleton
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Sad commentary on absent father, mental health and abused children.
Jan 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Growing up without a father figure, Beryl Fonteyn struggles to find a real home, and desperately seeks the attentions of any male that looks her way. She, along with her mother and younger brother think they are "saved" when her mother re-marries, but the turbulence that follows through the years changes them all forever.

I found this book to be quite riveting and was surprised at feeling empathy for many of the characters in the book, good and "evil." Beryl's pain of not having her father in her
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie Faith
Aug 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Beautifully lyric writing, heavy in bee symbolism along with mythological references made by the professor step-father character, this book has a touch of North Carolina nature along with the development of an honest portrayal of familial best-intentions gone awry. While it's fiction, most of the book reads like it could be a memoir of the late 1950s. The characters are so well-developed and the dialogue so realistic, it's one of the best books I've read this summer. ...more
Judith Federico
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked it and some of the insights and writing were lovely, but I don't think I've ever encountered so much crying! Almost every other page someone was weeping. A bit of a downer to say the least. ...more
LInda L
Apr 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good, but lots of terrible people. Good writer.
Nov 26, 2011 marked it as to-read
not for the faint of heart
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well written. Lot's of bee symbolism ...more
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Another one by the author of Plum Wine.....

Wow! Powerful book. Written from the point of view of an adult woman telling of her troubled childhood and the ramifications.
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