Friday, December 26, 2008

Shelter Me by Alex McAulay

Maggie Leigh is trying to be a normal girl. But that's hard when London is in the midst of World War II and German bombs are raining on the city every other day. After an attack that leaves Maggie's aunt in a coma, Maggie's ultra-religious mother sends her to a faraway boarding school in Wales. The school is run by nuns that are even more religious than her mother and slightly crazier to boot. After only one day at the school, an incident on the beach occurs, one that causes Maggie and her three friends to flee for their lives.

This book was really weird. All the characters were weird, except Maggie and her aunt (though her aunt isn't in the book all that much). The plot was weird and the ending was weird. Okay, "weird" is starting to lose it's meaning. Don't worry; I'll explain. Maggie's mother is really religious, and she believes World War II is punishment because of all England is sinners. She tells Maggie that she is staying with family in Wales, but is really sending her to a Catholic boarding school. So Maggie is staying with these nun who are crazy. They don't follow any of the Catholic church's stated practices (i.e: at one point a nun hears Confession, which only a priest is ordained to do) and believe that all the girls must be "cleansed" of their evil ways. It's actually pretty creepy because one nun's face is disfigured from a fire, but in reality she's burning it off herself to scare the girls. Anyway, I don't want to give anything away in case you still want to read this book but an "accident" happens on the beach and Maggie and her three friends run away. The one friend is actually pretty normal and isn't really a friend; just a rich girl that tags along to find her boyfriend. The other girl Kate seems pretty normal until she loses her temper and kind of freaks out. And then there's Eileen who almost seems mentally deranged. So we have a whole cast of odd characters. And then there's a twist at the end that makes you go "What just happened?" I won't ruin the surprise for you, but it's pretty crazy and slightly unbelievable. Just like the whole book.

3 out of 10.

Release Date: January 6, 2009

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oooo, I loved this book. Just got done reading it. It's definitely really strange but I liked the creepiness.