Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shelter Me-- Alex McAulay

So I wish there were more books about boarding schools that weren't so off-base. But that is neither here nor there. I've had this book, Shelter Me, sitting on my desk waiting for me to review it for over a week now... but it was just so bad, I don't think I can even produce a well-written review about it! But still, I must try...

Shelter Me takes place in England during WWII. Maggie and her fanatically religious mother were already struggling to make ends meet when a bomb hits too close to home. Maggie's mom sends her to a strict boarding school in Wales, where girls with money have privileges and poor girls are treated inhumanely. And then, well, it's hard to describe. Four girls run away and end up in terrible situations.

Now typically, I shy away from giving away any major plot points... but this book was so terribly bad that I hope you don't read it anyway. This book is being marketed as historical fiction, but really it's a very poorly written novel that doesn't have a path or purpose. In this story there is an evil nun with a melted face who thinks she is god on earth. There is a German soldier with an infant, an odd Mae West-type character who drugs and steals children, a weird dude who smuggles vegetables in caskets, and a whore house... how can we forget the whore house. The worst part is there was no attempt to make the language or thoughts of the characters fitting with the historical time or setting. There were so many uses of modern slang that I literally found myself laughing out loud.

So I honestly wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. But if you had to, I guess you could give it to girls who like historical fiction but don't care if it's inaccurate, or maybe fan of School for Dangerous Girls.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I second that. I almost gave up on this book several times but it was so short and I kept hoping for some redemption. Sadly, it never came.