I received a copy of this book from Midas PR in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
I’m a sucker for world war novels, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to read and review this book. Shelter is so unlike other world war novels I’ve read, but I loved it just the same.
Early spring 1944.
In a clearing deep within an English forest two lost souls meet for the first time.
Connie Granger has escaped the devastation of her bombed out city home. She has found work in the Women’s Timber Corps, and for her, this remote community must now serve a secret purpose.
Seppe, an Italian prisoner of war, is haunted by his memories. But in the forest camp, he finds a strange kind of freedom.
Their meeting signals new beginnings. In each other they find the means to imagine their own lives anew, and to face that which each fears the most.
But outside their haven, the world is ravaged by war and old certainties are crumbling. Both Connie and Seppe must make a life-defining choice which threatens their fragile existence. How will they make sense of this new world, and find their place within it? What does it mean to be a woman, or a foreign man, in these days of darkness and new light?
A beautiful, gentle and deeply powerful novel about finding solace in the most troubled times, about love, about hope and about renewal after devastation. It asks us to consider what makes a family, what price a woman must pay to live as she chooses, and what we’d fight to the bitter end to protect.
Shelter is set during World War 2, but is unlike any other WW2 novel you may have read. The main characters are not in any big city, nor are they soldiers in the front line. They meet in the Forest of Dean, where tress are felled for the war effort. Constance Granger is a lumberjill from the Women’s Timber Corps and Seppe is an Italian Prisoner of War (POW) in a forest camp.
Both Connie and Seppe have secrets of their own and pasts they wish to forget. They meet in the Forest of Dean and this is their story of finding solace, love, and a home away from home.
Sarah Franklin has written the characters in this novel brilliantly. Seppe is adorable and Connie is…well…annoying. But I also really liked her on some occasions, the ones where I could she where she was coming from. And I guess that’s how the author wanted us to feel towards Connie. She can be so selfish at times, but she can also be a lovable character occasionally. The other minor characters in this book have also been written well and I would have loved to read more about them.
Another reason for why Franklin is such a top-notch writer is how descriptive she is about the Forest of Dean. This lady knows her trees and she knows how to write about them! It’s as hot as Satan’s backside where I live, and yet reading this book made me feel transported to the forest, cool breeze, pine oil, and all!
Do check this book out if you like world war novels and books about family, loss, and love.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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What did you think of my review? Will you read this book? Let me know in the comments!