Thursday, February 04, 2021

Middle-Grade Review: A Home for Goddesses and Dogs

On audio, I recently finished listening to a middle-grade novel I have been wanting to read, A Home for Goddesses and Dogs by Leslie Connor. I loved her novel Waiting for Normal so much that I almost drove off the road laughing and sobbing and reaching for the box of Kleenex while listening to it! I also enjoyed her YA novel, The Things You Kiss Good-bye, so I was excited to listen to her latest novel about a lost young girl who finds a new home.

Thirteen-year-old Lydia has just lost her mother to a heart condition. It was just the two of them for a long time, with the specter of her mom's advancing disease, so Lydia and her mom were very close. Now, a few days after her death, Lydia moves to Connecticut to live with her mother's sister, Aunt Brat, and her wife, Eileen. The two women share a home with an elderly man, Elloroy, who owns the property, and they also have a dog and soon add another. Lydia wonders, "Isn't one rescue at a time enough?" There is a lot for Lydia to adjust to: a new home in a new, rural town in a new state, new school, new friends, and of course, the loss of her mother. Plus, Lydia doesn't think she's "a dog person," and the new dog, christened Guffer, is a hard dog to like. He barks a lot, pees all over the house, and seems fearful of strange things. The home's human residents wonder what he endured before to make him this way. Little by little, Lydia begins to settle into her new home, making some new friends in the close-knit small town, feeling more comfortable, letting go of some secrets, and even falling in love with Guffer.

As always, Connor writes beautifully about loss and love and ordinary life with warmth and humor. Her stories always feel so real, peopled by quirky three-dimensional characters living with challenges big and small, and finding joy in their lives in spite of those challenges. Lydia and her new family felt like old friends by the end of the book. The audio was excellent, narrated by actress Patricia Santomasso, in a voice that sounded perfectly like 13-year-old Lydia. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Lydia and her new found-family.

416 pages, Katherine Tegen Books


Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.


You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!


Or you can order A Home for Goddesses and Dogs from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.


  1. This sounds like a lovely book! Any author who can handle grief, loss, and dogs all at once gets my vote.

    1. ha ha yes, and more! I really enjoy her books.