Shelter: Book summary and reviews of Shelter by Frances Greenslade

Shelter

A Novel

By Frances Greenslade

Shelter
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  • Published in USA  May 2012,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

From an impressive new literary talent, a heartbreaking, lushly imagined novel that explores the deep bond between two very different sisters whose world is shattered when their mother mysteriously abandons them.

Before their father died, Maggie and Jenny's life felt nearly perfect. Seasons in their tiny rural home were peppered with wilderness hikes, building makeshift shelters and telling stories by the fire with Patrick and Irene, their doting father and beautiful, quick-to-laugh mother. But not long after Maggie's tenth birthday, Patrick is killed in a logging accident - and a few months later, Irene abruptly drops the girls at a neighbor's house, promising to return in a few weeks. She never does.

Left in the care of a childless couple, Maggie and Jenny learn to depend on one another, keeping alive the faith that their mother is coming back. Yet as years start to pass, and the girls go to school, fall in love, and begin to grow apart, Maggie struggles with the mystery of what could have happened to their once warm, loving mother to make her abandon her daughters. And when the girls find themselves facing a crisis too overwhelming to handle alone, Maggie finally decides it is time to heal their fractured family at any cost and she takes off to try to bring their mother home at last. 

Told in Maggie's strong, plucky voice, 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Greenslade's beautiful debut novel (after the memoir By a Secret Ladder) chronicles the struggles of sisters Maggie and Jenny as they attempt to make sense of a life without parents in rural Duchess Creek, Canada, in the 1970s." - Publishers Weekly

"From the very first page, this eloquent, evocative book crept into my heart and wouldn't go away. I think it will linger inside me for a long, long time - like a powerful dream or one of those take-your-breath-away kind of tales that someone tells you in childhood and years later, still haunts you. Shelter is an unforgettable novel about love, loss, family and what it means to go home." - Mira Bartok, author of The Memory Palace

"Poignant, tender and vivid, Shelter traces the relationship of two daughters with their missing mother through family stories. Greenslade's gorgeous landscapes and loving attention to her characters make this journey through loss and survival unforgettable. I was glued to every page." - Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach

"This book casts a strong spell - the landscape is so vividly rendered, it is a character all on its own, and sisters Maggie and Jenny are unforgettable in their resilience. Greenslade depicts the battle between different types of love with harrowing intensity and quiet compassion. Shelter shows us how wilderness can be a safer haven than a home with four walls, but also how love, despite its heartbreaking unpredictability, remains the shelter we desire most." - Jamie Zeppa, author of Every Time We Say Goodbye

"The longing for a lost mother has rarely been expressed so soulfully. The yearning of these two vulnerable young sisters for their mother, who has disappeared, is palpable. I was entirely absorbed in their precarious situation and their desire to find her, yet aware that their mother's gift was the resourcefulness they needed to survive. Greenslade is a fresh new voice that you are sure to hear again." - Bobbie Ann Mason, author of The Girl in the Blue Beret

The information about Shelter shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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More Information

Frances Greenslade is the author of two memoirs and is the winner of the Saskatchewan Book Award for Non-Fiction. She teaches English in Penticton, BC. Visit her online at www.francesgreenslade.com.

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