Thursday, September 10, 2009

book diverson: "shelter me"

i have to write one of these when i read a really good book, especially one that's not a romance, since that's so rare for me - plus i won't be reading new romances for a while, since i can't stomach the judgmental librarians at the cbus library (only, only reason i miss indy - computer checkout at the library!). plus when your grandmother hands you a book and says, "read this," you should.

"shelter me" is a debut novel, and it is biting with wit and humor and laughter, which is slightly strange because it's a story about a terribly sad event - a woman whose husband died in a freak accident, leaving her a single mother to two young children. the book follows her first year without her husband, a year of lots of downs and lots of ups, and even some surprises - like when a contractor shows up a few months after her husband's death to build the porch her husband had planned for her.

juliette fay has created a lovely story that is written in the spirit of billie letts or lorna landvik, both writers that i love. they have a very conversational tone about them, less lyrical and deceptively descriptive. i can easily hear janie, the heroine of the book (because she really is a heroine if there ever was one) saying the things she says, just as i can taste the indian pudding one of the characters brings to thanksgiving dinner. i loved the cover of the book with the quilt sheltering the two people, because that's what the book felt like to me, an achingly sad, yet hopeful place that i escaped to for two lovely hours. my grandmother was right. read this.

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