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Author Laura Nicole Diamond Book Reading and Signing at Rittenhouse Square

Author Laura Nicole Diamond, who hails from L.A. but has roots at the University of Pennsylvania and in Washington Crossing, PA, comes to the east coast and signs her new book, Shelter Us (June 8, 2015; Trade; $16.95; She Writes Press). She’ll read selections from Shelter Us, lead a discussion and sign books on Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 18th and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia. Laura Nicole Diamond’s heartrending debut novel Shelter Us examines how two women from vastly different worlds break convention to bridge the apparent chasm that divides their lives. When a stay-at-home mother from the suburbs brings her young sons on an excursion to downtown L.A., a chance encounter with a young homeless mother and toddler plants the seed of an unlikely journey toward redemption for them both. Told in a distinct and strong voice, Shelter Us portrays with compassion the intricate layers of loss, isolation, marriage and motherhood. It shines a light on themes of Jewish identity and assimilation, individual and community responses to homelessness, immigration and assimilation, and coping with bereavement. With the homeless population growing in L.A., Philadelphia and across the county, Diamond regularly encounters a growing homeless population, often when she is with her own two sons. Part of the inspiration for Shelter Us came to Diamond as a way to respond to the need she encountered, so as not to become overwhelmed. By focusing on one young homeless mother, Shelter Us humanizes the issue of homelessness, and questions our assumptions about who “the homeless” are and how to help.

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