Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Shelter by Beth Cooley

Lucy attends an exclusive private school and lives in a really nice three garage house that her father designed. Well, at least she did. When her father dies unexpectedly, her mother discovers that the finances weren’t quite what she thought they were. There isn’t any money for the mortgage payments, there’s not enough money to buy them a smaller house, and there’s barely enough money to rent a small apartment for them. After seven months Lucy, her younger brother and their mother find themselves homeless and living in a shelter for women.

Lucy is angry. She’s angry at how far down she’s come in the world. She’s angry at her mother for not coping better. She thinks she deserves better and she certainly feels uncomfortable with the type of people who are her close neighbors in the shelter. There is a teenage mother, an ex-drug addict, a mentally ill woman, and all their children. Certainly not the type of people Lucy would have chosen to surround herself with.

This was an interesting book. I was a bit worried at the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to identify with Lucy. She was a bit mean, a bit too self-pitying, a bit too much of a snob. But it ended up working for me. It made sense that she would be that way. She was a wealthy girl who had never known any other life. She expected certain things and when everything was taken away, it was only natural that she would have some difficulty coping. What really saved her was Cooley’s character development. Lucy transforms little by little into a more understanding, sympathetic character. And the slow progression felt very natural and so I believed it.

It had a very happy ending and everything was nicely resolved. Usually I don’t like endings that are wrapped up so neatly with curled ribbon and a bow, but in this case I think I would have been upset had the lives of all these women and their children not improved somewhat.


Janette Rallison said...

What a great website you guys have here. I'm very impressed and now a want to read a ton of books!

joanna said...

Why thank you! *blushing*

alexis said...

I really would like to read ostrich eye. Alexis

alexis said...

I read ostrich eye it was amazing.

Annaaa said...

i just finished this book, and i really loved it, when i find a good book, i cant put it down, this was a great book, i didnt want it to end, lol(: