Cover Image: Stay


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Member Reviews

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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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“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.
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Love any book from Catherine Ryan Hyde!! She is s great storyteller! All her books capture your attention. This book was no different!
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Go back to Summer 69, to a small town with big history
Meet interesting people
learn more about them, their pasts - their present times...

Power of hope, kindness, friendship

I sank into this book and truly enjoyed it!

By Pay It Forward Author,
I have read and enjoyed many other books by her
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This book was a surprise to me.   It  was a very complex book that touched on a lot of  problems that occur in every day life..  Loved all the characters especially Lucas who is the narrator.  It gives all the feels.  You see the consequences  that can come from our choices.  I was given an ebook from Net Galley and I really enjoyed it.  Thank you.  I will also post a review on Readers Coffeehouse in which Catherine Ryan Hyde is a founding author and I am a member.   I would recommend this book to everyone who loves  reading a good story.
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When I was teaching 9th grade Honors English, I often used a quote by Moss Hart that describes the "umbilical cord being made of piano wire" when we were talking about the power of familial love. But what really determines a family? Is it only biology or can there be other connections that are every bit as strong? Hyde addresses this in her heartwarming novel of unlikely friendships and the beauty of actually listening and forging connections with others that aren't always related by biology. Fourteen-year-old Lucas stumbles upon a random cabin in the woods where two dogs become his running partners. A few days later he saves the life of their owner, a middle-aged woman with a dark past. Their friendship is forged slowly and sweetly as Zoe is "broken" and Lucas needs advice about navigating his own confusing life. It's touching and poignant with many flawed characters, but the heart of the novel shows us the power of humanity and ultimately, redemption.
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Excellent book about the power of friendship and the importance of just being present for others. Loved the message about how even small moments have the potential to have lasting effects.
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This is only the second novel I've read written by Catherine Ryan Hyde, but she writes such beautiful books that I will definitely be checking out her previous novels. 

The main character in this book, Lucas Painter is a fourteen year old boy who is very thoughtful and caring for his age. The year is 1969 and his homelife is difficult as his parents fight all the time and his older brother Roy is away in Vietnam writing Lucas letter which show he is struggling with the trauma of combat. His best friend, Connor is anxious and depressed and becoming more reclusive by the day. To get away from it all Lucas likes to go running with two large dogs who live with a woman in a cabin in the woods. The woman, Zoe Dinsmore has isolated herself from the rest of the town after a catastrophic event seventeen years ago, however a medical emergency brings her into contact with Lucas and they unexpectedly become friends. They form that special sort of relationship found between grandparents and their grandchildren where Zoe looks forward to her visits from Lucas and he is able to talk to her about his worries and ask for advice. Soon Zoe is helping Connor and Roy to overcome their problems and get back control of their lives. 

Such a lovely, heartwarming story, so beautifully told with wonderful characters. I especially enjoyed the epilogue showing what had happened to all the characters fifty years later - so nice to have that satisfying sense of closure.
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In true form, Catherine Ryan Hyde delivers another outstanding story about the power of friendship and how much a simple kindness can do for a person.

Lucas Painter has a bigger load to carry than most fourteen-year old boys he knows. His brother is off fighting in Vietnam and his best friend Connor is spiraling into a deep depression with family issues. All this combines with his own difficulties at home as his parents continue to fight relentlessly. Lucas needs a relief from the pressure of his life, so he takes off running through the woods. One day while running, he comes across two large dogs. At first, he is scared but then the dogs start running with him and it becomes just what he needs. After a while he meets the owner of the dogs, Zoe Dinsmore. She has kept herself isolated from the rest of the town after a tragic event that rocked her life and everyone in the town. Lucas finds the chance in meeting Zoe to do something to help those closest to him and hopefully save a life in the process.

Each time I pick up a Catherine Ryan Hyde book I think to myself it can’t possibly be better than the last, but she proves me wrong every single time. Stay is a perfectly crafted tale of what it means to care for someone and love them enough to want them to stay in this world. Lucas has so much going against him, but he still tries to help those around him. He is such a rich and vulnerable character that the reader can’t help but want to follow along in his journey. He isn’t the only perfect character in the book; his relationship with every other character is perfectly laid out. Zoe is the character that probably has the biggest arc throughout the story and I loved seeing her grow and the advice she gives out was just right. The thing that makes the characters so relatable is the flaws they have, not even one of them are written as perfect and having their life totally together. The flaws bring out the best and worst in them and help move the story along. Each chapter brought a new struggle that Lucas faced that helped him to grow and be able to help those around him. The story moves quickly with tension at the right spots and the characters showing growth with the turning of the pages. I recommend this book to anyone that has enjoyed a Catherine Ryan Hyde book before and is looking for another great read. If you haven’t read anything by Hyde yet this would be a perfect one to get you started with a phenomenal author.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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Stay is a story that will literally STAY . WITH. YOU. 
The story was very well written. The characters were multi dimensional and well fleshed out. 

I loved Lucas, the main characters and how he grew throughout the years and all of the diversity he faced. There are many lessons in this book , the most powerful one for me was hope.
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What s sweet story,  Relationships, loss, running, dogs, depression, Vietnam, ice cream sodas. It has everything!!
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Lucas Painter is fourteen in the summer of 1969.
His parents argue all the time and his older brother Roy is off fighting in Vietnam. His best friend Connor doesn't want to leave his house.
Lucas takes up running as a way to forget the problems that plague him.
While running in the woods one day, two massive dogs join him. At first he is terrified, but the three soon become good pals.
They are owned by Zoe Dinsmore, a fifty five year old loner living in the woods, hiding from an earlier tragedy in her life.
Zoe and Lucas become friends. He is able to open up to her about his troubles and even introduces Connor to her.
When Roy comes home from the war injured and addicted, he also is befriended by Zoe.
These unexpected attachments help begin the healing process for all of them.
A sweet, reflective look at the restorative power of friendship.
A beautifully written, feel good coming of age story with a nostalgic feeling.
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for the e-ARC via NetGalley.
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This is the 3rd book by this author and she never disappoints!! Amazing story with amazing characters!!! You just fall in love with all of them!! Highly highly recommend..
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This is the story of a young 14 year old boy who develops a friendship with a solitary woman with a heartbreaking back story; his best friend who's struggling with depression; and an older brother returned from Viet Nam with a self-inflicted injury and drug addiction. As morbid as that all sounds, it is actually a heartwarming story of love and redemption. Teenager Lucas discovers the woman, Zoe, barely breathing in her house after a suicide attempt, and he saves her life. Their subsequent slow-developing friendship was a pleasure to read. She, in her own grumpy way, helps him make sense of the world around him. And by helping him, his friend, and his brother, Zoe finds a reason for living.

I really enjoyed this book and thank Net Galley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a favorite author of mine. Her characters are so relatable. She’s one of those writers who “shows," rather than “tells.” That, to me, is the hallmark of exceptional writing talent.
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This book was a wonderful surprise! I had never read anything by this author, but a friend recommended it so I thought I would pick it up.  The story is told from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old boy, Lucas Painter,  who was dealing with several issues:  his brother was off fighting in Vietnam, his parents argued all the time, and his best friend, Connor, is always sad.  Lucas has discovered that two dogs live at a cabin in the woods and he goes and runs with them every day.  One day the dogs don't come out when he comes by to see them.  Lucas looks in the windows of the cabin and finds the lady who lives there in her bed, seemingly unconscious.  He calls the police to check on her.  After this Lucas's life begins to change.

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!

Thanks to Catherine Ryan Hyde and Lake Union Publishing through Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I read two books by Catherine Ryan Hyde and while I enjoy an uplifting story, they felt a bit too sappy, even for me. Then I read [book:Have You Seen Luis Velez?|42632584] and I liked that one so much more. Still, I wasn’t planning on reading this one, until I read the 4 and 5 stars reviews by some of my friends that kept coming. It was my friend Tudor Queen’s review that convinced me and I’m thankful because I really was moved by this story.

It was easy to like Lucas right from the beginning, feel for him as he endures the endless arguments of his parents and misses and worries for his older brother Roy who is in Vietnam. You think that might be enough of a burden for a fourteen year old boy, but then it gets heavier as he saves a recluse woman living in a cabin with her two dogs . It gets worse, she really doesn’t want to be saved and he worries. Just too much, I thought for this young boy, but then there’s someone else he has to worry about, his best friend Conner, who has some serious issues of his own to deal with. The summer of 1969 would be one that marks Lucas for the rest of his life, turning him into a man anyone would be proud to know. 

It was hard to imagine at times that a fourteen year old boy could be this perceptive, this understanding , but yet most of the time I did. At times it felt just too much, almost a bit melodramatic with so many sad things happening to the characters. Having said that, this story covers some serious issues - drug addiction, attempted suicide, mental illness, the stress of the Vietnam War, marital problems, and debilitating guilt. It’s also full of heart and love and caring and loyal friendship of the kind that anyone of us would want in our lives. Lucas is a character I’ll remember for a long time.

I received an advanced copy of this from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley.
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Another great story by Catherine Ryan Hyde, always such a talent for grabbing you from page 1 and taking you on such an emotional ride that you keep coming back for more.
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