“Well… now, I’m starting to think.. you don’t know what might be coming next. And it might be something nice. Something good, even though everything before it wasn’t good at all.”
Thank you to TLC Booktours and Amazon Publishing for gifting me a copy of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s newest book, Stay.
“An unforgettable novel about the power of friendship and kindness by the New York Times bestselling author of Pay It Forward.
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.”
First and foremost, this book was a lot heavier than I anticipated it to be. The entire book mainly circles around a few of the characters as they struggle with the difficulties of life. If you’re concerned about reading this book, please let me know and we can chat about it.
Now, even with the intense nature of Stay, I still loved every bit of this book. It was truly beautiful and an incredible testament to the importance of friendship and just being there for someone. The main character, Lucas Painter, is wise beyond his years and has one of the kindest hearts of any of the characters that I have read about.
I also had a deep appreciation for the way that Hyde wrote about Lucas’ relationship with Zoe’s dogs. The scenes where Lucas would go run with the dogs were presented to me with such photographic detail that I felt like I was running along beside them. Her writing has prompted me to start running as she made it sound so freeing. That time, running with the dogs, was the therapy that Lucas desperately needed. As I mentioned before, Stay is a beautiful testament to friendship but it’s not only a testament to human friendship but, also, the friendship of animals.
I was completely mesmerized by Hyde’s writing. She did an extraordinary job of tackling such heavy topics but giving the reader hope throughout the entire book. The book made me feel that if there are people out in the world who are even the smallest bit like Lucas and Zoe, that the world is in a lot better shape than I thought it was.
Stay was a wonderful read and will be difficult for me to forget. I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
Thank you to Catherine Ryan Hyde, TLC Book Tours and Amazon Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.
“It’s funny, looking back… A thing happens, and it’s a thing big enough to save a life, and you don’t know why it happened. And you sure didn’t know it was such a big deal at the time. But, looking back, you wonder why things work out the way they do.”