Shelter Me


Four months after her husband’s death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband—now his last gift to her. As construction begins, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow—mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can’t release. Yet Janie’s isolation is breached by a cast of unlikely interventionists: her ipecac-toting aunt; her bossy neighbor; her muffin-bearing cousin; and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own. As the porch takes shape, Janie discovers that the unknowable terrain of the future is best navigated with the help of others—even those we least expect to call on, much less learn to love.

“Tinged with searing insight and often hilarious wry humor. ”
—The Boston Globe

A 2009 Massachusetts Book Award “Book of the Year,” IndieNext List pick, Target Bookmarked choice and Good Housekeeping Book Pick.