Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Shelter Me by Juliette Fay

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 415
Released: 2008
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5/5


At thirty-eight, Janie Lemarche had a loving husband, a young son in preschool and a toddler daughter. Her family was complete, her career was on track but one night everything changed and her perfect world came crumbling down. Her husband Robbie died in a motorcycle accident, and Janie must learn to keep living. Her son doesn’t understand where his father is gone, and her daughter will probably never remember who he was. When a contractor shows up a few months later asking for Robbie, Janie doesn’t immediately tell him the truth. She learns that Robbie had plans to build a screened in porch, something that she always wanted. Janie is angry, grieving and just wants to be left alone. Once Tug knows the truth, he’s standoffish but tries to help Janie with the little things her husband would have taken care of. Father Jake Sweeney comes every week to talk to Janie, and she lashes out. How can he even pretend to understand what she is going through?


Shelter Me is a story about love, grief and finding friends in unexpected places. When readers first dive into Shelter Me, Janie’s emotions are raw and real. Through snippets of her journal entries, readers get a glimpse of how strong her emotions are controlling her thoughts. She wants to crawl into bed and never get up, but her son and daughter need her. She’s grateful that her aunt is always there when she needs her, as well as her extended family but they are constantly trying to tell her what to do; send her to therapy, signing her up for self defense classes, she just wants to be left alone. Her brother is always gone, he’s not very social and Janie expects him to stay away. Her mother on the other hand only stayed for a few weeks, and she went back to Italy, leaving Janie behind. She’s resentful that her mother isn’t here when she needs her.

I thought Shelter Me was a great read. It’s hard not to read this book and not care about Janie. She can easily be anyone you know, or yourself included. I wasn’t sure where the book would go or how Janie would progress. Fay did an amazing job portraying a grief stricken widow. Her age played into the book as well, because she couldn’t see herself remarrying or having another child. She was at a point in her life where she had everything figured out, and now everything is up in the air. I really enjoyed this one, and I highly recommend it. This was my first Juliette Fay novel, and I will be adding her other books to my wish list as well.


  1. I'm so glad you reviewed this. I wanted to read it but promptly forgot about it! But your review reminds me how good it sounds!

  2. I really liked this one. And then it was fun to see Janie appear briefly in Fay's recent The Shortest Way Home which I liked as much, if not more than Shelter Me.

  3. I just met Juliette last week. I haven't read any of her books but, let me tell you, other people who were at the event had and they seemed very attached to the characters in her books. I can't wait to try one of them!

  4. Sounds reallly good and how great is that cover?

  5. Sounds like an emotional read, one I would probably enjoy. Great review!

  6. This one has been on my shelf a while. Every time I think I might read it, I worry the timing might be off emotionally:)