Hey you guys! Guess who finally has a new post going up after over a week! I’m really sorry about that and I’ll talk a bit more about the why in another post as this one is all about Shelter by Sarah Franklin!
I was asked if I wanted to read and participate in a blog tour for this upcoming release and since I did enjoy the books set during World War 2 that I’ve read before, I wanted to give this one a read too! Plus, this would take me outside my comfort zone of fantasy and contemporary young adults releases – which is always fun.
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. (via goodreads.com)
Before I jump into my thoughts about the book, here’s a look at the poster with information on the other bloggers involved in this blog tour – so please, if you’ve got a couple of minutes, check them out on their respective days and show them some support!
Shelter was the first adult release I have read in ages (if we’re not counting Nevernight which kind of seems to want to be both at times), so it took me a little while to actually get into the story. Wait, actually. Part of it was the language used too. I’m used to current day English and since Shelter is set towards the end of World War 2, the language reflects that. But it’s not just the time period – it’s the actual setting too, that’s being reflected (I think).
But, as with any other book too, once I’d gotten used to the language and the way it was used, reading became easier and quicker. I actually read a good chunk of the book just sitting outside at my parents’ house one evening! And then the second half in one sitting on another day – so really, it was all about getting used to the language and then it was smooth sailing. 🙂
I also quite enjoyed reading about Connie and Seppe and the way they each dealt with their pasts and how it influenced them in the present. Connie on her own was a really interesting character too though I did have trouble understanding some of the things she did and does in the book – especially towards the end. Though that’s probably mainly down to the fact that I could never see myself do something like that, but we’re all different and I’m sure people have done exactly what Connie does too.
Something I really enjoyed about this book was the ‘found family’ situation that is happening throughout. It does take Connie a bit to actually open up to the people she is staying with and working for, but once she does it’s really nice to see! These people really care about each other and care about taking care of each other which was so beautiful to see!
Unfortunately, my knowledge about the happenings during World War 2 outside of Germany is pretty small (we only really learned about what happened in Germany while in school) so I can’t tell you guys how accurate the portrayal was but from what I read, the author did her research on the matter.
Paperback releases on May 31st in the UK via Bonnier Zaffre
Have you guys heard about or seen this book around your bookstores before? It released in hardcover last year already! Or do you guys stick to the Young Adult section of your trusted booksellers? Is this something you could see yourself reading in the future? Let me know in the comments down below!