Shelter Summary
Jayne Anne Phillips

Everything you need to understand or teach Shelter by Jayne Anne Phillips.

  • Shelter Summary & Study Guide

Shelter Summary

Shelter develops Phillips's recurring theme of disintegrating families. Although clearly the most dysfunctional, the Carmody family differs only in degree from the Briarleys, the Campbells, and the Swensons. None is these families is stable, as the recollections of Alma and Lenny reveal. Long before the novel opens, reenacting the Briarleys' fights has become a game for Cap and Lenny. Catherine Winthrop has already left Henry Briarley, returned to her family home in Connecticut, and taken back her maiden name. Audrey Swenson and Nickel Campbell have come to believe their marriages are mistakes, and they have engaged in a two-year affair. Moreover, throughout the affair, Audrey has detailed all her feelings in conversations with her younger daughter, Alma. Meanwhile, Lenny has begun to remember incidents of sexual "touching," presumably by her drunken father. Trapped by Mina's psychological dependence, and tortured by guilt about what he is doing to his...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Shelter Study Pack contains:

Shelter Short Guide

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