Shelter in Place, by Nora Roberts

This book got me out of a major reading slump and propelled me back to the hobby I love!

It’s a difficult subject matter: a mass shooting at a public mall in Maine told from the points of view of teenagers who were witnesses and victims. The pace of the story is quick and, all told, the book covers over 15-plus years of the lives of the main characters. There is a sinister thread that snakes its way through the plot and the story in Shelter in Place. It’s creepy and even disturbing at times, but it makes for a wonderfully heightened sense of intrigue.

Some other favorite points of mine:

*The art. Two of the main characters are artists and I got caught up in the lovely, vivid descriptions of their work.

*The dog. I am a huge fan of any story that includes a dog–especially one as adorable and loveable as the one created in this book!

*The follow-able depth. In a lot of books, more and more characters are introduced and put into play and I find myself getting confused, having to shuffle back through pages to try and remember who was who. Shelter in Place includes a vast canvas of characters, but they all felt like they belonged and were created in a way that was easy to track. Very skillfully done!

As odd as it feels to say that I enjoyed a book about a horrible mass shooting, I did. And I think the reason that I enjoyed it so much is that the characters came to life for me. They were more than victims–they were survivors who refused to allow their lives to be swallowed up by hatred and violence.

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