Saturday, November 16, 2019

Book Review: Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde

If you read my reviews at all, you already know I’m a huge fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde. Her novels portray everyday people in difficult situations that most people can relate to. STAY is yet another wonderful novel by this talented wordsmith. Below is more about her latest novel and my thoughts.


Catherine Ryan Hyde

Book Description:

In the summer of 1969, fourteen-year-old Lucas Painter carries a huge weight on his shoulders. His brother is fighting in Vietnam. His embattled parents are locked in a never-ending war. And his best friend, Connor, is struggling with his own family issues. To find relief from the chaos, Lucas takes long, meandering walks, and one day he veers into the woods.

There he discovers an isolated cabin and two huge dogs. Frightened, he runs. And the dogs run with him. Lucas finds unusual peace in running with the dogs, and eventually he meets their owner, Zoe Dinsmore. Closed off and haunted by a tragic past, Zoe has given up. She doesn’t want to be saved. She wants out. But Lucas doesn’t want her to go, and he sees an opportunity to bring more than one friend back into the light. It’s either the best or worst idea he’s ever had, but Lucas isn’t giving up on Zoe or Connor.

Their unexpected connection might be the saving grace that Zoe thought she’d lost, that Connor needs, and that Lucas has been running toward.

Release Date: December 3, 2019
Lake Union Publishing


My 5-Star Review:

Fourteen-year-old Lucas is worried about many things in the summer of 1969. His older brother is fighting in Vietnam, his parents fight constantly, and his best friend is growing more and more reclusive. Lucas is worried about everyone, and wants to fix their problems, but is unable to do so. As a release, he’s started running. He runs in the woods behind his house, finding it calming. Until one day he come upon a small cabin that he’s never noticed before and two very active dogs. After days of running with the dogs, he meets their owner, Zoe, who lives isolated from everyone. After a near-tragedy, Lucas’s friendship with Zoe grows, and an unusual connection is made that will touch everyone in Lucas’s life, especially him.

I love stories where unexpected friendships grow to be so much more. Catherine Ryan Hyde is an expert at developing flawed characters who somehow find each other and learn to live to their potential. It’s people helping people, even the most broken of us. Set in the turbulent era of the Vietnam War, when knowing right from wrong was difficult, this book pulls at your heartstrings. This novel is one of my favorites by this amazing author.  

About the Author:

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than thirty published and forthcoming books. An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days of Gratitude: Photos from a Beautiful World.

Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association (ALA) for its Best Book for Young Adults list, and translated into more than twenty-three languages for distribution in over thirty countries. Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List, and Jumpstart the World was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. Where We Belong won two Rainbow Awards in 2013, and The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award in 2015.

More than fifty of her short stories have been published in the Antioch ReviewMichigan Quarterly ReviewVirginia Quarterly ReviewPloughsharesGlimmer Train, and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for the O. Henry Award and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in The Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000–2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

For more information, please visit the author at

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