Shelter

Shelter

4.5 7
by Frances Greenslade
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. After their father dies in a tragic logging accident when the girls are young, Maggie and Jenny’s mother drops them off with friends, and never returns. As weeks bleed into months that pool into years, Maggie and Jenny grow into very different teenagers, though both girls labor on with the memory of their beloved father and the persistent hope that one day their mother might return. Maggie, the narrator, finds comfort in local loner Vern George—with whom she builds makeshift shelters in the woods—and his kind Uncle Leslie. When Jenny gets pregnant and is shipped off to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home for Unwed Mothers, Maggie takes it upon herself to locate their prodigal mother—or at least uncover her fate—and build a true shelter wherein Maggie and Jenny might reconstitute the loving family they once had. Agent: Denise Bukowski, the Bukowski Agency. (May)
Caroline Leavitt
“A harrowing, haunting, and exquisitely written novel about sisters, mothers, daughters, and whom we love and why. The characters are so alive, you feel them breathing on the page. Loved. Loved. Loved.”
Will Allison
“In prose as lush and vivid as its British Columbia landscapes, Frances Greenslade's debut novel, Shelter, offers an achingly beautiful story of loss, longing, and hope. I love this book.”
Bobbie Ann Mason
“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.”
Eden Robinson
“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.”
Jamie Zeppa
“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 asafer haven than a home with four walls, but also how love, despite its heartbreaking unpredictability, remains the shelter we desire most.”
Mira Bartók
“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.”
From the Publisher
“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.”

“A harrowing, haunting, and exquisitely written novel about sisters, mothers, daughters, and whom we love and why. The characters are so alive, you feel them breathing on the page. Loved. Loved. Loved.”

“In prose as lush and vivid as its British Columbia landscapes, Frances Greenslade's debut novel, Shelter, offers an achingly beautiful story of loss, longing, and hope. I love this book.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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 asafer haven than a home with four walls, but also how love, despite its heartbreaking unpredictability, remains the shelter we desire most.”

Mira Bartók
“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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451661101
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
05/15/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,139,463
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.96(d)

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Meet the Author

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.

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Shelter 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
There were times when I was reading this book that I closed the book and let my mind wander to the place where Jenny and Maggie’s travels were taking them. Whether it was in the backseat of their mother’s car or out on the open green fields, I felt like I was a part of their world and longed to witness everything that they were taking in. The first part of this book was hard to crack open and I wondered if I would fit into their world but once I understand their antics, the mystery of their world was mine for turning the page. The relationship between these two sisters was amazing even though they were totally different people, they depended on each other and saw the uniqueness in each other and did not judge each other no matter what direction life took them. In today’s world, I know this is a hard concept to follow which is what made this book so enjoyable to read. No, it was not sappy and unrealistic it just showed how with the dramatics of a family, the bond of two sisters can still remain strong. The history of the family when all is said and done adds an interesting twist to the story and for that, I applaud the author. I won this book from Goodreads but that does not influence my opinion, my opinion is my own. “If there is a God, he was a little too casual or absentminded or something. He should have thought to make sure we had maturity before we were able to reproduce, especially since, according to my biology class, human beings nurture their young longer than any other species.”
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For leaders to gain knowledge an medicine cats and their apprentises talk to their ancestors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JoyAnneTN More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing story of two sisters as different as night and day, who drift apart for a short while as Jenny explores the things a 15 yr old does and Maggie who is younger and more mature gets a job to keep her out of the way of their caregiver, though the sisters need each other more than they realize what they need most is to find their mother, she dropped them off with strangers while she went to look for work and never came back. After a few years and much talk Maggie and her best friend, Vern, set out to find her. They don't get far though, Vern's Uncle Lewis picks them up on the highway during a thunderstorm and takes them home. Maggie doesn't give up and when Jenny is sent away by the woman their mother left them with she takes off on her search again. Eventually Maggie solves the mystery. That's all I'll say about that as I don't want to spoil it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it was unpredictable and intense. I could imagine the places and the scenery Maggie describes. The array of characters were very interesting! Greenslade has an amazing talent, Shelter is about love and loss, family and human strength. I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where the clans will join each Sunday Night to share their news.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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