Wednesday, May 14, 2014

[Book Review] Shelter by Patricia H. Aust

Miguel’s dad is at it again—physically abusing his mom and sister and terrorizing Miguel for no good reason. But when Miguel’s mom and sister, who have been whispering to one another for some time, decide to stand up to the abuse and move to a women’s shelter, Miguel’s life begins to take turns he never expected. After the family moves out, it isn’t long before Miguel’s dad promises to change his ways before once again becoming abusive; leaving Miguel to summon the courage to stand up to the man he thought he loved. This emotional and stirring novel is told from the point of view of a young man who is torn between the love he feels for his abusive father and the responsibility to protect his family.
In memory of Patricia Aust, who passed away in June, 2012, a portion of the royalties from the sale of SHELTER will be donated to the women’s shelter where she volunteered.

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Focusing on the real problem of mental and physical abuse, Shelter is a story about being strong and getting through the struggles of not being wanted and having doubts about everything. It shows the reader the harsh reality of what children go through. Of how being abused is not only about being hit or yelled at but the damage can be done by telling someone they worth nothing and completely and utterly putting them through hell on emotional level. 
Shelter was not what I expected and definitely must say that it took me off guard. The writing, the story itself was moving and I found it hard to put the book down. The progress of Miguel and his family trying to get away from abuse was very detailed and even though the ending was not what I expected, I absolutely loved this book! It's sad to say that the author has passed away and we will not be seeing any more writing from her but I'm glad I was introduced to this book.  


Pat Aust’s life revolved around helping other people. She recognized that for as many children as there were in the battered women’s shelter where she volunteered as a children’s counselor, there were many more that still were being abused. This book was accepted for publication just before she passed away from cancer on June 12, 2012. Her hope was that this book might help victims of domestic violence to break the cycle.

After she retired from a career in child welfare and specialized foster care, and working for more than 20 years as a public school social worker, she served on various boards of mental health and learning disabilities as well as the Connecticut Task Force on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She belonged to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, played in her church’s bell choir, and edited Circuit, the newsletter of the Learning Disabilities Association of Connecticut. What she loved most, though, was writing middle-grade and young adult novels. A portion of the royalties from the sale of SHELTER will be donated to the women’s shelter where she volunteered.