GoldengroveGoldengrove, by Francine Prose, explores family relationships and how death can change roles and identities abruptly.  Twelve-year-old Nico loves and admires Margaret, her talented and charismatic older sister, and is satisfied hanging back and playing a secondary role while Margaret shines.  This is Nico’s place in their family and around everyone they know.  But when Margaret drowns in a lake near their New England home, Nico is suddenly plunged into a depth of grief along with her mother and father.  The parents function, sort of, but cannot in any way manage to be the kind of parents Nico needs.  Complicating the situation is the enigmatic Aaron, Margaret’s artist boyfriend, who finds some degree of solace in sharing his memories with Nico, but who is deeply troubled and self-centered.  As Nico realizes she is emotionally on her own, she begins to value herself and find a new way to be, in a world forever changed by loss.  

On the Shelf: Shelter Me

In her beautifully written first novel, Shelter Me, Juliette Fay invites us to accompany Janie LaMarche, undone by grief and anger following her young husband’s death, on a journey to hopefully-ever-after.

Her mourning disrupted by a builder contracted to add a porch to her house - her husband’s last gift to her – Janie begins to see a future filled with new and unexpected possibilities, if only she can find a way to let go of her sorrow.

Shelter Me is one of the best books I

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