For sisters Maggie and Jenny growing up in the Pacific mountains in the early 1970s, life felt nearly perfect. Seasons in their tiny rustic home were peppered with wilderness hikes, building shelters from pine boughs and telling stories by the fire with their doting father and beautiful, adventurous mother. But at night, Maggie — a born worrier — would count the freckles on her father’s weathered arms, listening for the peal of her mother’s laughter in the kitchen, and never stop praying to keep them all safe from harm. Then her worst fears come true: Not long after Maggie’s tenth birthday, their father is killed in a logging accident, and a few months later, their mother abruptly drops the girls at a neighbor’s house, promising to return. She never does.
With deep compassion and sparkling prose, Frances Greenslade’s mesmerizing debut takes us inside the devastation and extraordinary strength of these two girls as they are propelled from the quiet, natural freedom in which they were raised to a world they can’t begin to fathom. Even as the sisters struggle to understand how their mother could abandon them, they keep alive the hope that she is fighting her way back to the daughters who adore her and who need her so desperately.
Heartbreaking and lushly imagined, 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.
Shelter is the story of Maggie, a young girl who is forced to grow up way too soon. Even before the accident that takes the life of her father, Maggie is mature beyond her years. When her mother abandons Maggie and her older sister with a family of strangers, the two girls struggle to adapt to a life when nothing can be taken for granted.
Shelter is a well-written and thought-provoking book about what it takes to feel safe. Maggie is a remarkable character, a survivor whose strength is extraordinary not just because of her young age. Despite hardship and emotional suffering, Maggie keeps her ability to love and succeeds in rebuilding the family she's lost.
Shelter is new this month from Free Press.
Disclaimer / Disclosure: No compensation was obtained for this post. Cover art, review copy and book description courtesy of the author, publisher or PR firm.