Shelter in Place

by Alexander Maksik

Crime / Mystery Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Shelter in Place

A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

Every new novel by Maksik is so different from his previous efforts that one's admiration grows for an author with such diverse skills and a determination not to repeat himself. Following novels which explored the life of the heart through teacher/student forbidden relationships in Paris and another set in Greece in Africa about a young Liberian woman's travails in a violent world, his new book, set around Seattle in the 1990s, is a carefully etched tale of mental illness and the darkness that seizes the human heart which closely follows the struggles of Joe March whose life shatters when he is gripped by bipolar disorder, followed by the terrible event of his mother killing a man. Delicately nuanced, this mini saga of an America that lays just behind the headlines is full of emotions, lacerating but true to life in that it is about a recognisable form of everyday life and digs up feelings we all have inevitably had at times. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski

Shelter in Place Synopsis

Set in the Pacific Northwest in the jittery, jacked-up early 90s, from one of America’s most thrillingly defiant contemporary storytellers, Shelter in Place is a stylish literary novel about the hereditary nature of mental illness, the fleeting intensity of youth, the obligations of family, and the consequences of all-consuming love.


Joseph March, a twenty-one-year-old working class kid from Seattle, is on top of the world. He has just graduated college, his future beckons, unencumbered. Joe’s life implodes when he starts to suffer the symptoms of severe bipolar disorder, and, shortly after, his mother kills a man she’s never met with a hammer. Joe moves to White Pine, Oregon, where his mother is in jail and his father has set up house to be near her. He is joined by Tess Wolff, a fiercely independent woman with whom he has fallen passionately in love. The lives of Joe, Tess, and Joe’s father fall into the slow rhythm of daily prison visits and beer and pizza at a local bar. Meanwhile, Anne-Marie March, Joe’s mother, is gradually becoming a local heroine as many begin to see her crime as a furious, exasperated act of righteous rebellion. Tess, too, has fallen under her spell. Spurred on by Anne-Marie’s example, Tess enlists Joe in a secret, violent plan that will forever change their lives.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781609453640
Publication date: 01/09/2016
Publisher: Europa Editions
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781609453640
Publication date: 1st September 2016
Author: Alexander Maksik
Publisher: Europa Editions
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Alexander Maksik

Alexander Maksik is the recipient of a Truman Capote fellowship and a Teaching/Writing fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His work has been published in many literary magazines. This is his first novel.   Author photo © Martina Bacigalupo

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