Shelter: Lost & Found is an engaging novel by R.A. Conroy. Released 29th Oct 2020 by BHC Press, it's 516 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats.
That the author is passionate about child and animal welfare is never under question. The shelter into which young protagonist Peggy literally stumbles trying to rescue an abused dog turns into a haven for both of them. There's an ensemble cast of "quirky" characters. They're mostly irascible and sarcastic but good under the surface.
I found the pacing quite slow. It's a substantial book and it took me several reading sessions. Although it's meant to be uplifting and positive, it's quite dark and desolate at many places throughout the narrative. It's told in third person and the flashbacks/abuse from Peggy's past were often difficult for me to read (they're internal monologues from her past abuse).
A fair bit of the humor fell flat for me and the dialogue was unpolished throughout. I do think the basic bones of the story are quite good (and the themes of animal and child/young person welfare are extremely important, of course). The author's illustrations are wonderful and really add a nice touch to the narrative.
Three and a half stars, rounded up for the charming illustrations.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.