Shelter by Frances Greenslade
A Novel

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It would be wrong to dismiss Frances Greenslade’s Shelter as yet another novelistic downer about the catatonically bleak wilds of Canada’s hinterland. For Shelter is a beating heart of a book.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

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.
 

About Frances Greenslade

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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, British Columbia.
 
Published May 15, 2012 by Free Press. 385 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Shelter
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jane Housham on Oct 18 2013

In a place so sparsely populated, every relationship has to be carefully tested for the good that may be hidden within it. Absorbing, moving, memorable, this is a book that would speak to young adult readers, too.

Read Full Review of Shelter: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Patricia Hluchy on Feb 17 2012

It would be wrong to dismiss Frances Greenslade’s Shelter as yet another novelistic downer about the catatonically bleak wilds of Canada’s hinterland. For Shelter is a beating heart of a book.

Read Full Review of Shelter: A Novel | See more reviews from Toronto Star

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Aug 26 2011

Shelter is clearly not kitchen-sink realism, or a sociological study of a British Columbia community, or a probe of the adolescent psyche. What force the novel possesses comes from its recognition of the uncanny...

Read Full Review of Shelter: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for Shelter
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