This is the fifth in a series of six historical novels (first came Clan of the Cave Bear) that chronicles the life of a Cro-Magnon female named Ayla. Shelters focuses on Ayla's acceptance and assimilation into the Zelandonii culture of her mate, Jondalar; her life, experiences, and surroundings are described in excruciating detail. The birth of their child is a rather obvious setup for the next installment. Auel attracts many readers with her attention to the minutiae of daily prehistoric life; this same concentration, however, becomes deadly dull in audio format. Auel explores social issues (e.g., poverty, economics, class, etc.) within the historical context, and because the book fills in the events of the prior four stories, it can be enjoyed solo. Narrator Sandra Burr's fine vocal characterizations lend authenticity and stability to the story. Despite Auel's popularity, her writing is far from top-notch (events are needlessly and mindlessly repeated); when combined with the price, this is recommended only for libraries where demand is high.DDouglas C. Lord, Hartford P.L., CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.