Thursday, August 6, 2015

Shelter Us - Review

Review by KT Sullivan
Sarah Shaw gives up her law career to be a stay at home mom. She has rehearsed her answer to the question “Do you have children?” “I have two children. My daughter died.” Sarah is lost in grief over Ella, her baby girl. She imagines Ella by her side and engaging in the family’s activities. She talks to her every day. When she was a teenager, Sarah’s mother died and her Guatemalan grandmother, Bibi, took her in. Sarah relies on her still to help with her sons. While driving, Sarah notices a homeless woman pushing a stroller. She pulls over and gives her lunch she packed for her son. Sarah becomes obsessed with helping the young mom and tracks her down. Josie and her son, Tyler, live in a shelter. A falling out with her mom and being abandoned by her boyfriend left her on the streets. Josie asks Sarah to drive her to Oakland from LA to help find her missing brother. Josie’s family isn’t happy to see her or Sarah. Sarah has lied about helping Josie to her husband, Robert, and finds herself looking up her old boyfriend. The combination of grief and helplessness take Sarah to the point of losing everything. “Mistakes make us,” Bibi says. In Sarah’s case it forces a sad conversation about how the family hasn’t dealt with Ella’s loss and brings them closer.

This is a sad story. Josie has so many hurdles to clear to make a life for herself and her son. Sarah needs to pick up the broken pieces of her former life and make a life for her sons. Life deals many bad cards and some people get more than their fair share. Healing has begun and both women try to start again. Excellent read.  

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About the Author:
Laura is the Editor of Deliver Me: True Confessions of Motherhood, a collection of true stories by 20 writers. Proceeds from book sales are donated to PATH Beyond Shelter, a non-profit that helps homeless families return to permanent housing.

Laura is a civil rights lawyer, and was the Editor in Chief of L.A. Family Magazine. She writes about family, parenting, and social justice for several publications, and on her blog, Confessions of Motherhood. 

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