Shelter: A Novel
A gorgeous, poetic literary debut from award-winning author Frances Greenslade, Shelter is a brilliant coming-of-age story of two strong, brave sisters searching for their mother.
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 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.
Heartwarming 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.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Shelter by Frances Greenslade ISBN: 9781451661101 Starts out when Maggie was being told from her dad how to build a shelter. He used to work in Oregon but traveled north to BC to live off the land and avoid the Korean draft. He had come over from Ireland and had enough battles. He knew many ways to make a shelter and she watched. Scene at the homefront reminded me of when we first moved to the island-we had to carry our 5 gallon buckets of water up the hill 300 yards and we had no heat for the first several months, outdoor bushes for the bathroom. After their fathers death they move to a camp where Irene, the mother cooks for those who come to camp. After summer they move in with a local woman who can do/fix anything. After a time they have to leave there and Irene puts the kids in a home with friends of the family-The Edwards while she goes to the logging camps to cook. no kids allowed but her kids will be able to attend school. When Ted develops cancer she spends time with him in the hospital where he's on morphine for the pain. He tells her all about her father. She and her sister now work after school and their mother's last letter stated she wasn't feeling very well. They stopped receiving money after that. Maddie plans a weekend trip to try to find her mother, along with her sister and meet up with some crazy people while hitchhiking. When Jennie gets pregnant from a boy who's left the area. Bea makes a call and ships her out to a home for unwed mothers run by nuns. She finally tracks down someone who knows Irene's past and divulges secrets to her in hopes it will lead her to find her mother... Love all the descriptions about the meadows of flowers and other nature. Also learning what they used to keep the deer out of the garden, gonna have to try it. Canasta talk is cool to read about. Quilt making and the patterns from the Indian tribe women.
Review: ShelterUser Review - Goodreads
I loved the story (compelling), the setting (1970s interior BC), and her writing.