Shelter: ‘One of the year's hottest debuts’

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‘Its characters pulse with life and energy - Connie's contrary longings and Seppe's difficult journey to inner peace are vividly rendered, as is the evocation of the forest and its healing qualities’ Daily Mail

‘This beautifully crafted tale of survival and solace reveals that you can find a home in the most unusual places’ Sunday Express

‘The wartime lives of both Italian POWs and the lumberjills have received surprisingly little cultural attention over the years; in Franklin's tender, moving debut novel, with its unforgettable heroine, those experiences get the loving attention they deserve’ The Irish Times

‘A mesmerising wartime story about identity’ Irish Examiner

‘An accomplished debut from Sarah Franklin, Shelter is the perfect read for those who enjoy historical fiction with humour, warmth and a real sense of place’ Daily Record

‘A beautifully written, gentle, hopeful book’ Lucy Atkins, author of The Night Visitor

‘Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this is a life-affirming and compelling debut’ Clare Mackintosh, Compulsive Readers

‘I really enjoyed the novel. You caught the period and the place beautifully and Connie and Seppe's story is very moving. Hats off’ Fanny Blake

‘I found this a fascinating and assured debut’ Women and Home

‘These two displaced people find solace with the rhythms of nature and with each other until the secret that Connie has been hiding threatens to tear them apart. A wonderful, affecting debut novel about the redemptive power of nature’ Red Magazine

‘Shelter is an atmospheric debut and a fascinating glimpse into a forgotten aspect of WWII by Sarah Franklin’ Good Housekeeping

‘Oh, this ticks all my historical-fiction boxes and more: beautifully atmospheric, detailed scene setting and characters that not only immerse you fully in their era but lead you to a greater understanding of it. (I wouldn't be surprised if it's snapped up for adaptation, Atonement-style)’ The Pool, Book at Bedtime

‘Forest heritage is built on stories not monuments, and this story of love, identity and finding happiness will appeal to a local audience and contribute to our idea of ourselves and our past’ Reading the Forest

‘The understanding of foresters ways, their sheep, mines and dialect and the geography of the forest are perfectly captured in this well-researched book . . .’ The Forester

‘A tender and moving debut, which examines the way one can live through love, loss and duty . . . something wonderful’ OX Magazine

‘First I thought it was a WW2 story, then I thought it was a romance, then I thought it was a story about the power of motherhood and then I thought it was a book specifically designed to toy with my delicate emotions. Sarah Franklin's Shelter is all this and more . . . This book was a delightful and moving story of the struggles of losing one's identity and having to find it in unfamiliar places with unlikely individuals. It speaks of permanence (and a lack of it) in a way that makes this girl away from home feel a little teary’ Chain Interaction

‘What a fascinating read - a slow read that like the trees in the forest, draws you into the shadows and envelopes you right into the heart of the story. It's a very unique angle on the 2ww and the insights into what the war effort could really mean’ The Book Trail

‘I always admire an author who is brave enough not to spell out the conclusion of a book but to let the reader imagine it for themselves. I thought this was an impressive debut What Cathy Read Next

‘Packed full of beautiful, touching characters in a story that's as refreshing as it is romantic. Connie and Seppe are the leads here - and Franklin brings them to life in vivid colour. They both have hugely compelling backstories . . . despite the 60 odd years that has passed since the book was set, and the wildly different circumstances that readers today will be in, these characters are so vivid that they feel like people you could bump into in the street (or, more fittingly, the forest) . . . The command of plot is commendable - it keeps the reader gripped throughout, and goes in directions that aren't expected. Indeed several moments in the later third of the book had my heart in my mouth - but thankfully they were resolved with skill, care, and love. Love is at the heart of this story - romantic love, familial love, love for one's country and love for one's self. It's a passionate, heartwarming and emotional tale that I hugely enjoyed’ The Bookbag

‘Shelter is an incredible book to read. I loved Seppe's character’ Steph’s Book Blog

‘Sarah Franklin has without a doubt become one of my new favourite authors. I immediately came to love her writing style as she collated pieces of flashbacks into a mosaic which truly represented the bittersweet journey the two main characters found themselves on before reaching the forest. I adored seeing their two individual experiences come together . . . this book warmed my heart and also made me consider the potential fatalities of war that stretch far beyond the battlefield’ The Beauty of Reading

‘The great strength of this novel is in the detail. Beautifully written, the landscape is the star of Franklin's book, stealing the limelight from any human character. I was immersed in the Forest of Dean from the moment Connie arrives, and the historical setting is also spot on . . . So much research must have been carried out and yet it is drawn so lightly on the page’ Tales from Olympia

‘Shelter is one of those rare books that manages to combine the sad and the heartwarming into one big, feel-good story . . . Funny, touching and tragic, this book is a must-read - if it's not on your to-do list, it should be!’ The Roaring Bookworm

‘Wonderful tale’ Cleopatra Loves Books

‘Shelter is a well written and enjoyable read, which explores a side of the war I had not considered before. It is at times poignant and heartbreaking, but it is also a story filled with love and a hope for a better tomorrow’ The Owl on the Bookshelf

‘Shelter is whole­hearted, accomplished and moving. An impressive debut’ South China Morning Post

‘I'd really recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical or is just a real fan of stories set in WW2, as I am. It's a fairly easy read but it has some serious issues and parts to it which provoke the reader to think a little bit, something which I really enjoyed’ Snazzy Books

‘There's a sweetness and a joy about Shelter that is very hard to resist. Shelter is about people seeking, and finding, a place to belong . . . it is a unique addition to the glut of WWII books’ Elle Thinks

‘Shelter has a great premise; Connie ends up as a 'lumberjill' in the New Forest in 1944 after she flees London and her past. Structurally, the novel is extremely effective, and it's genuinely touching . . . Connie is a compelling character . . . she comes alive in the very first pages of the novel. Overall, Shelter is strong on concept and characterisation . . .’ Laura Tisdall

‘Beautifully written and full of compassion, Shelter is a story of resilience, love and the need to belong’ Jill’s Book Cafe