Shel­ter Us: A Novel

  • From the Publisher
June 3, 2015

Sarah Shaw is a lawyer-turned-stay-home-mom strug­gling to raise two young sons while griev­ing the death of an infant daugh­ter. While dri­ving in Los Ange­les one day, Sarah sees a home­less moth­er and child and makes it her mis­sion to save them. The daugh­ter of a sec­u­lar father and con­vert­ed-Jew­ish moth­er, Sarah turns toward Judaism for guid­ance, much as she relied on Jew­ish rit­u­als upon the sud­den death of her moth­er years before. Recall­ing her moth­er’s empha­sis on wel­com­ing the stranger ‚” Sarah is embold­ened to approach to the young home­less woman despite her hus­band’s admo­ni­tion not to get involved. All the while, Sarah’s son’s ques­tions about the death of his baby sis­ter force Sarah to con­front what she believes about God, death, and after­life. In Sarah’s lack of cer­tain­ty, Shel­ter Us sug­gests that Judais­m’s pow­er is not in pro­vid­ing firm answers but rather in guid­ing us how to act while we are alive. Shel­ter Us—its title tak­en from the Hashkiveinu prayer — express­es a moth­er’s fer­vent long­ing that her chil­dren will be safe, despite the painful knowl­edge that there are no guarantees.

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