Stay

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of the most uniquely and beautifully written books about the power of friendship and the universal need for acceptance, understanding, forgiveness and love. The book takes place over the summer of 1969. Vietnam is a divisive issue in the United States and 14 year old Lucas Painter's  brother is overseas fighting as Lucas' parents continue to wage their own kind of war at home leaving Lucas to feel that no one really sees him. He finds an escape from his family and his thoughts by running in the nearby woods with 2 large dogs. He eventually meets the dogs' owner Zoe Dinsmore when she tries to commit suicide. Zoe has a tragic past that she just wants to escape from but Lucas feels comfort and understanding with Zoe. Lucas feels that Zoe has much to offer and an unlikely partnership begins between Lucas, Zoe, and others as they sort out their place in this quickly changing era.
The characters and situations in this book are believable, feelings so well expressed and so many thought to take away, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Once I started it was hard to put down since I wanted to know how all the parts would be connected. Ms Hyde writing style added to the mood of the book going from difficult situations to light humor to keep it from feeling too dark. As I read along, it became apparent that each of the characters were looking for forgiveness and acceptance and when that was provided , they became stronger.
This will not be the last Catherine Ryan Hyde book that I read and look forward to meeting her new characters.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing with no obligation to review it. This is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Cathy Ryan Hyde never disappoints. Fans of her absolutely enjoy this book just to warn you though it is a tearjerker. I was definitely attracted to the book to buy the cover beautifully done
Was this review helpful?
What a wonderful coming of age novel! Lucas the adult is looking back on the experiences of Lucas the fourteen year old during a difficult time in his life, when bad things were happening to.those he loved. The book, the first half of which takes place in the '60s, makes you look at the Vietnam War, addiction and mental health in a different light. You will fall in love with Lucas, and your heart will break at what he is going through. In the second part of the book adult Lucas completes the story by telling some of what became of the other characters. And, of course, there are great DOGS in the book!

I read this book in two days- so make sure you start it when you can set aside adequate reading time. Enjoy!
Was this review helpful?
I really like books by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and this one is no exception!  She is a wonderful author and her books invariably touch on many serious issues.  In this story, Lucas Painter is a 14 year old boy, coming of age, in 1969.  He is a caring boy with many burdens to bear:  parents in conflict, older brother in Vietnam, close friend dealing with depression.  Lucas is a runner.  On his morning run one day he discovers two very large dogs who join him in running.  This is how he meets their owner, Zoe, a grown woman, who has some difficult problems.  Through their interaction, along with all the other characters, we learn about coping, understanding, forgiveness, grief and so many human emotions.  I really liked this book and would highly recommend it.  Ms. Hyde has another 5 star novel in this book!  Thanks, NetGalley, for an advanced reader's copy.
Was this review helpful?
One of my favorite authors has another winner.   This  story is a coming of age story    It belongs to  youNg folks and older folks....funny how they can help each other out.  Make a big difference in their lives.....teach them lessons...and show each other love.   It’s touching how these separate generations somehow get together and form a alliance.   I enjoyed this book and I think you will too
Was this review helpful?
This book is full of heart and touches on redemption, forgiveness, friendship, and caring for others. I truly enjoyed the story and hope to read more by this author. The characters are poignant and memorable. There is great wisdom to be found in the pages. I loved it!
Was this review helpful?
Catherine Ryan Hyde is an author that has quickly captured my interest as a reader. She writes beautifully. Her stories are engaging, in-depth looks at humanity and she is a master at capturing the nuances and emotions of events that shape us as humans. Most of her books that I've read center around young adults who are "coming of age".

Stay is another masterpiece by her that highlights that dark and the light that drive us. It was gripping and emotional. I wish I could say it was sunshine and roses - but most of life is not like that. Hyde tackles depression and it's many variances in this book and offers a counterpoint to the despair and complacency that can overwhelm us.

I received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a very well written coming of age story about a young boy surrounded by a world of grown up problems in 1969.  Hyde provides an unflinching look at society and right and wrong through the eyes of a 14 year old boy, Lucas.  When hiking in the woods one day he stumbles upon a cabin and finds a woman unconscious.  Little does he know this one act will change his life and others' permanently.  Addressing issues of addiction, war, love, sadness, and even the disappointments of life is no easy task and Hyde does so effectively, while continuing to provide characters that are intriguing and thoughtful.  I loved the highly relatable insight Lucas is given - for example, it is great to want to help people with their problems but why he finds this so draining is because he becomes too invested in their outcomes. As Lucas learns to accept that he is not in control of others' decisions he also finds a group of friends he can depend on as he faces life head on.  I highly recommend this book, and am looking forward to more from this author.  I received an ARC of this book, all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This story is set during the Vietnam war and how soldiers were given drugs to make it through and the were addicted once they left. It is about a series of events and how people are affected.   How we help each other even when we don’t think we can help ourselves.
Was this review helpful?
In 1969 Lucas Painter was fourteen years old with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He finds a release by taking long walks until one day he is chased by two large dogs who just want to play and discovers the joy of running.

As the summer holidays begin he meets Zoe Dinsmore, who owns the dogs, and an unlikely friendship begins. The days pass quickly as they discover as much about themselves as each other and gradually Lucas begins to understand a little more about what is happening and how he needs to deal with it. He is a nice boy who cares deeply for his brother and his best friend but doesn't understand his role in any of what is happening to them. Gradually he learns how to offer and accept help and his load is reduced as his confidence increases.

This is a beautifully written study of an ordinary boy and how no one is an island unless they want to be. His family and friends come under the microscope and as he tries to help those closest to him he learns how what he, or any of his close circle, do can have repercussions for many others.

I enjoyed this book very much; it was an easy read but covered a lot of problems as relevant today as they were then. The book is written from Lucas's point of view and I wanted him to succeed and rise above the problems he has to face. I  especially liked that the final chapters were in the present which meant all the important questions were answered.
Was this review helpful?
This is not the first book of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s that I have read and it certainly won’t be the last.  One thing that stands out to me in every book I have read is the life-lessons that the main characters learn or share with each other.  This book touched me very deeply.  I have so many highlights in it from all the gems I want to be able to remember!  Lucas Painter is a 14 year old boy growing up in a troubled household where he is more ignored than paid attention to by either parent, and whose brother is in Vietnam.  His best friend, Connor, is also a very troubled young man whose household is no better than Lucas’. In one of Lucas’ forays into the woods surrounding his town, he finds and befriends two dogs  who become his running partners.  Through them he also gets to know their owner, Zoe Dinsmore, in a most unexpected way.....he saves her life from a suicide attempt. Bringing these three characters together makes the whole story...how they depend on each other...how they help each other.....how their friendships change their future entirely.  The conversations between the characters at times are both comical and philosophical in an off-beat way, which is endearing.  I know that i can whole-heartedly recommend this book to others for their reading pleasure and maybe some enlightenment.  Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book in return for an honest review, which this has been.  #NetGalley #Stay
Was this review helpful?
Catherine Ryan Hyde writes about the human spirit in a straight-forward and authentic, but deeply compassionate manner. She showcases her characters' resiliency, and how being or becoming part of a community inspires them to want to be better -- for themselves and those they have come to love. In Stay, employing her signature style, she explore several difficult topics, including suicide, addiction, and post-traumatic stress suffered by veterans. The result is an uplifting story, full of hope, about the futility of isolation, individual choices, and affording others the dignity to make their own choices.

Lucas does not want to be on the track team, but he does enjoy running in the woods -- precisely where his mother has told him not to go, warning him that he might get lost. His first-person narrative gives insight into his thoughts and feelings about the stressors in his life. He takes up running because he finds it impossible to "think any real thoughts at the same time. That was the whole point of doing the thing." His brother, Roy, is stationed in Vietnam, and his parents fight constantly. In fact, they are so busy fighting, Lucas feels that he is largely invisible to them. So he does go running in the woods and, in fact, gets lost. But he happens upon a cabin and a massive dog house, as well as not one, but two huge dogs. To his surprise, he realizes that the dogs just want to run and play with him. So he begins running with them every morning before school. 

But one morning, Lucas discovers Zoe, the older woman who owns the dogs, lying in bed in the cabin, unresponsive. He runs home, telephones for help, and in doing so, saves her life. Lucas' choice to disregard his mother's order and make it his habit to run with the dogs each morning sets in motion a series of events that change the trajectory of Zoe's life, along with Lucas'.

Hyde reveals that Zoe attempted suicide because she has been living with the guilt and far-reaching repercussions of a tragedy that occurred years ago. She has deliberately isolated herself out in the woods, and has no desire to continue living. But when Lucas realizes that she still wants to end her life, but loves the dogs and wants them cared for, he angrily and bravely makes clear that he will not look after them when she is gone. Her attitude spurs his curiosity, and he learns about her shocking history and why she is so determined not to go on living.

The choice to continue living is a theme that Hyde weaves throughout the story, examining it through Connor's struggle with depression, as well as the problems his mother deals with, especially after his parents' marriage finally falls apart. Lucas is a true friend to Connor, and Connor's family problems trouble him greatly. He worries about Connor but is not sure how to help. He will not give up on Zoe, either, and gradually manages to forge a friendship with her. 

Hyde details how Lucas learns life lesson from the cantankerous Zoe, who recognizes that Lucas is a boy who takes on everyone else's struggles, and tries to convince him that he'll "have a much happier life if you get a strong bead on what's your responsibility and what isn't." That advice informs his relationship with and desire to help Connor come to terms with his own dysfunctional family. 

It also figures prominently in Lucas' relationship with his older brother, Roy, who returns unexpectedly from Vietnam, forever changed. Roy made choices in Vietnam that will impact him for the rest of his life, and Lucas discovers that Roy cannot be helped until he is ready to receive help. As with Zoe and Connor, Lucas learns about supporting a loved one, and facilitating their effort to receive assistance. Through Roy, Hyde challenges readers to consider the impact of war and, more particularly, the Vietnam War, upon warriors. 

Hyde's characters, with all of their faults and flaws, are compellingly empathetic. The dogs play prominent roles in the story because of their connection to the characters and the ways in which the characters' feelings for and reactions to them illustrate the characters' core values and traits. Lucas' voice is heartbreakingly resonant, genuine, and thoroughly believable. She has crafted a lovely story about ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges with the best intentions and integrity, but who aren't equipped with the coping skills required to overcome the issues they face. But they do have resilience, as well as strength and courage that they are surprised to learn they possess. 

Lucas' one choice sets in motion events that have far-reaching, multi-generational consequences, but Hyde passionately conveys that nothing in the lives of Lucas or his loved ones is a mistake. As always, Hyde's commitment to her subject matter and affection for her characters is evident, and she provides readers with difficult themes and complicated issues upon which to reflect, and ponder how they might respond to similar challenges.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks so much to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this.

This is a heartwarming story about a young boy trying to navigate life's challenges; parents who argue constantly, a brother off at war, a friend dealing with depression plus all the normal challenges 14-year-old boys face like grades and girls. Lucas finds solace in the most unlikely places and people and learns a lot of tough lessons along the way but we get a chance to watch him grow and mature through it all. This was a very sweet book and I would definitely recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
I love all of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books and this one did not disappoint! The protagonist, Lucas, is a teenager the summer of 1969. His family life always seems to be in turmoil, as his parents are always fighting and his brother is in Vietnam fighting a war. His best friend, Connor, is also dealing with his own family issues, so he is often left meandering alone. One day, he decides to walk through the woods near his home and discovers a cabin where two dogs stand guard. In fear, he runs to keep the dogs from attacking him, but finds the dogs want to run with him. 

After many runs with the dogs, he meets the woman in the cabin, Zoe. Zoe has had a rough life and chooses to live in the woods away from people. Her past haunts her and she has lost her will to live. As their friendship grows, Zoe finds that she actually enjoys having Lucas around. Her dogs also enjoy having him around and they look forward to  the runs they go on together. He eventually brings his friend Connor to meet Zoe and they form a bond born out of tragedy a desire to belong somewhere. 

This is a story about how past traumas can affect a person and the challenges they have with trusting people. I also loved that they were brought together because of the dogs in the story, Animals can be the conduit to bringing people together, and they have a way of bringing hope and healing to broken hearts. I highly recommend this book! Thank you, Catherine Ryan Hyde for allowing me to read an advanced reader copy.
Was this review helpful?
Hey folks, daddy Steve here with a little doggiebook review. This time I'll be talking about Stay, a book by author Catherine Ryan Hyde.

This book is about so much more than just a teenager running with dogs, yet at the same time, they are very central to the story. What they bring to Lucas, the running teenager, is very close to what Malcolm brings to me. Things like peace and balance. They are not super present in the story, that is the book is not written from their point of view but throughout the whole book, they are there for Lucas.

I found the book to be thought provoking on many levels. About how one decision, seemingly unimportant at the time, can change a lot in your future but also about not dwelling too much on bad events. That last part also goes in line with what Malcolm has been teaching me the last four years. Don't live in the pas, enjoy the present.

Catherine Ryan Hyde also wrote Pay It Forward, on which a movie was made. I have not read the book or seen the movie, but we all understand the concept being paying it forward. There is quite a bit of that in Stay. Be good to others and don't give up on them, just as you should not give up on yourself.

I really enjoyed this book, another recommended read!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publshing who provided a free eBook advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review. This is as honest as it gets...

#Malcolmstories #doggiebooks
Was this review helpful?
STAY by Katherine Ryan Hyde captivated me from the first page to the very last.  
STAY is the first book I have read by Ms. Hyde but it will not be the last.  When I hate to turn the last page of a book because I am going to miss the characters I met between the pages, I know I just finished a great book, one that will stay with me.  STAY is such a book.

The book begins with 14-year old Lucas Painter, recounting how he spent the Summer of ’69.  Lucas Painter is philosophical, mature and compassionate. His parents are distant and only connect with each other when arguing. For me, Lucas is a contemporary Holden Caufield (Catcher in the Rye). 

Lucas's best friend from early childhood is Connor Barnes. Connor is not happy, perhaps clinically depressed, also shades of Holden Caufield. His family life is sad, his parents are sad and uncommunicative.  His house is dark and dreary. Connor is also introspective and compassionate. Lucas is his only friend, Lucas is loyal, he is available and he is ready, willing and able to be there for Connor. Lucas is the friend we all wish we had and some of us are lucky enough to have.

Roy is Lucas’ brother, is a deeply troubled Vietnam Vet trying to recover from the damage Vietnam has done to his psyche and his body.
 
Zoe Dinsmore, a 55-year-old recluse with tragedy in her past that has left her racked with guilt and chemical dependency.  Zoe and Lucas will stay with me for a long time; many of their thoughts, their actions and their relationship touched me deeply.

Zoe and the boys become friends, confidants; Zoe helps them and they help her. 

Do yourself a favor, read this novel, it is warm, it is touching, it is thoughtful and it is life affirming. One of the best books I have read in a very very long time.
Was this review helpful?
What a wonderful story. We follow Lucas, a small town boy in the summer of 1969. Lucas is dealing with adolescence, along with fighting parents, a depressed best friend, an older brother drafted and in Vietnam and a strange woman and her dogs in the woods. This is a powerful and loving story about this timeframe. Lucas is a memorable character and the kind of friend and brother we all want and all hope to be. A lot of dark topics are involved, but in a way that makes them somehow feel less so.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
3.75⭐️ Thank you NetGalley. CRH’s Take Me With You and Heaven Adjacent were 5⭐️ For me. This one didn’t quite rise to the level of those and I think it’s because this story, with the focus of one summer in the late 60s of a 14 year old, felt a bit YA to me.. Still I enjoyed it. I just think my experience so far with CRH books is I prefer the ones that feature an adult narrator.
Was this review helpful?
“I felt as though Mrs. Dinsmore had pressed a key into my hand, and that key had just opened up some secret part of the universe that had always been a mystery to me. Sounds like an exaggeration, but I guess you’d have to know how utterly baffled I’d been by life up until then.”

Stay is the twenty-ninth novel by award-winning American author, Catherine Ryan Hyde. Lucas Painter comes across the cottage in the woods by accident. The large dogs sitting outside shock him into fleeing, even though he knows he can’t outrun them. But it turns out not only to be non-lethal, but to actually be a positive experience, one that allows him to clear his mind of everything that bothers him. 

And Lucas has a lot on his mind. His brother is away at war; his parents argue all the time; and his troubled best friend Connor’s house isn’t the refuge a home should be. Lucas returns to the woods and repeats it, running with the dogs, regularly, until one day when the dogs are behaving strangely. 

Lucas ends up saving a life, but the old woman he saves, Zoe Dinsmore is anything but appreciative. She’s the most anti-social person he’s ever met, and he needs to know why. What he learns doesn’t deter him from the cottage. He finds that with Zoe Dinsmore, he can ask questions about life that he simply can’t ask his parents, and he gets decent answers, even when she comments: “Whew,” she said. “It really is a tough place inside that brain of yours, isn’t it?”

Lucas finds that talking to Zoe gives him insight and empathy, and he’s a good enough friend to Connor that he can share. He comes to realise: “It’s really important,” I say, “when you’re thinking bad thoughts about yourself, to remember that they might turn out to be wrong.” Later he recalls: “…we had her when we needed her the most— when we were scared and lost and all the grown -ups around us were letting us down.”

Ryan Hyde has an extraordinary talent for conveying the feelings and emotions of a fourteen-year-old boy, and she succinctly and beautifully describes the situation. She tackles some big topics: suicide and addiction, and how they are managed. And she gives her characters lots of wise words: “If something works, I figure … just leave it alone. Let it be a thing that worked. Not everything needs to be picked apart for better understanding. Sometimes it’s okay to just say thank you in the quiet of your head and move along.” A wonderful, uplifting read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.
Was this review helpful?
Love any book from Catherine Ryan Hyde!! She is s great storyteller! All her books capture your attention. This book was no different!
Was this review helpful?