Cover Image: Stay


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Member Reviews

Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my top favorites authors because she writes amazing novels that always grip me right from the start, and then stay with me for for a long time because I can’t stop thinking about them. Stay is a perfect example. She has a talent for capturing and expressing character emotions and feelings that is astounding. The subject matter and plot are deep, profound, and reflective and I gobbled up every word, yearning to read more. I am certain that Stay will be a bestseller and an award winner! I beg everyone to read this book and tell everyone you know about it.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of "Pay It Forward")....You have done it again!! * WOW....What a book!!
Such a deep, touching story of the purest form of selfless love within friendships and siblings.
I was lucky enough to receive an early release copy of this from NetGalley ~
Me reading any book in 2 days, is rare for me but I swear I could hardly put it down! I only WISH there were many more books out there, like this!
***** 5 FULL stars~
~Thank YOU...Catherine Ryan Hyde
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It’s been a really long time since I:

A. Read a book in it’s entirety in one sitting
B. Shed actual tears at its ending 

This is a beautiful coming of age story that explores the ties and importance of friendship, family and friends that become family. Set in 1969, yet still a story all ages can relate to. To be honest, anything by Catherine Ryan Hyde is an easy 5 stars.
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Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.
Lucas Painter is fourteen years old in the summer of 1969. His big brother is fighting in Vietnam, his parents are fighting each other, and his best friend is fighting depression. To escape, Lucas starts running daily through the forest near his home. When he comes across a cabin in the middle of nowhere that appears abandoned Lucas almost lets it be, until two massive dogs belonging to the cabin’s owner join him on his run. Lucas runs daily with the strangers’ dogs, and begins to form a bond with the dogs’ owner, a self-proclaimed recluse named Zoe. Throughout the summer, Lucas’ life is drastically changed by having Zoe in it, as is the life of his friend and brother, but it takes Zoe to teach Lucas how much he has changed her life for the better as well. 
“Stay” by Catherine Ryan Hyde has its moments of beauty, and poignant, thought-provoking events that will stick with you. The novel portrays the darkest parts of depression and addiction with honesty and humility. 
The problem I couldn’t get over is that young Lucas is fourteen, however he reacts to extreme circumstances in his life with utter maturity and gumption that adults many years older (myself included) would be unable to portray. Also, he knows three people in his life (parents excluded) and all of them have some form of mental illness or addiction. Now, it is obvious that mental illness and addiction are everywhere, and many struggle in silence, but to have the only people in one person’s life suffering from similar afflictions—poor Lucas draws them to him like moths to a flame. Admirable and charming though his character is, I got stuck a bit on believability. 
I really enjoyed “Luis Velez” and perhaps that is what got my expectations up so high. I wanted the same heartwarming story that I got with Velez, and although the powerful message was there, “Stay” played out much slower. I did enjoy the dogs and their healing role throughout the novel—this part was the most believable of the entire novel. 
A good read to be sure, full of important messages, but I found it lacking in believability, and incomparable to “Luis Velez”; and not necessarily in a good way.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde has another hit with this new book, Stay.  She has once again shown how “lost” people can help find each other and actually save each other’s lives.  It is easy for us to like Lucas, the main character, and then all of the others we meet in this story.  It’s a feel-good read even though it deals with some heavy topics.  Hyde has found a formula that works, and it works well again in this novel.  If you haven’t read any of her novels, you should.  They help remind us to see the good in people.
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Wonderfully written. This at first started like what I would consider a coming of age tale, or YA novel, but became so much more. Lucas and Connor have been best friends since the age of 3. Lucas tells the story of their friendship and how they each have had to struggle with the circumstances of distant and inadequate parents, their own insecurities and their strengths. With heartfelt emotion you will be drawn into these wonderful flawed characters.

Lucas as a pre-teen boy has made a habit of running through the woods each morning. He’s soon accompanied by 2 big dogs belonging to an elderly lady named Zoe that lives in a remote spot in these woods. His mother forbids him to run in the woods or have a dog, so this is his private outlet. He’s curious about the owner of these dogs and peeks in her window one morning. She’s apparently unconscious, in what appears a suicide attempt. He saves her. For many years she has lived with the guilt of falling asleep at the wheel of a school bus which took 2 children’s lives. Her two grown daughters are estranged from their mother, affected by the embarrassment of their mothers actions. So this is the story of Lucas, Connor and Zoe and how they each affected who they became as a result of their circumstances. 

I won’t go into more as I suggest you go into this blind, as I did. Don’t read any more reviews. Let me say that Hyde is a brilliant story teller with a talent for stringing words and emotions together. Her writing brings you along in the experience... the sadness, the joy, the hope and yes ultimately the redemption for the troubled souls of this wonderful writing. 

Highly recommended. My thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for my digital copy. It’s on sale now and will be a great idea for any readers on your  gift lists.
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Love this author and every single book she wrote.  This was no exception. Well written and enthralling.   A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth
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5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow! Stunning book! Catherine Ryan Hyde does it again with Stay - a coming of age story about Lucas Painter growing up in the summer of 1969. My review will be brief because it’s best to just dive into this book without knowing too much about it. 

The story is told from one POV - Lucas. He is the sweetest, most caring and selfless 14 year old boy who carries a lot of burdens. His parents constantly fight and yell, his older brother is at war in Vietnam and his best friend Conner is showing signs of serious depression. While running through the woods one morning, a couple of very large dogs start running with Lucas. It becomes a morning ritual and this is how he meets and befriends Zoe (the owner of the dogs), an older woman with major problems of her own.  I loved all of these characters and they are ones that I will not forget. 

The author touches on quite a few serious issues: drug addiction, suicide, depression and grief. As the story unfolds, you learn how these characters all cope with these issues and learn to not only forgive others, but themselves too. 

I’ve only read two other books by Ms. Hyde and cannot wait to read them all. She is such a beautiful storyteller. In the little experience that I have with her books, I can say that they are just simply divine! 

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Catherine Ryan Hyde for my advanced copy to read and review.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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Don't you just love those rare books that grab you immediately from the first page?  It's such a thrill when that happens.  I'm going to write this review with the strictest of caution not to reveal too many details as the reader must experience this delicious unfolding of a story going in blind.  

It's the summer of 1969 when the book begins, with one 14-year old Lucas Painter recounting a pivotal moment in the trajectory of his life.  He likened it to when you're walking across a teeter totter and gingerly balance along the metal in the middle before you carefully step down off to the other side.  It was a tipping point.  The story took off in several directions all as a result of this one day.

As a character, young Lucas Painter is a very likeable one.  He's a deep thinker, quite mature for his age, resourceful, compassionate and fair-minded.  His parents seem to be engaged in one endless argument.  He longs for peace and quiet when he's at home.  Lucas's best friend from the age of three years old is Connor Barnes.  Connor suffers from the exact opposite situation at his house.  His parents never seem to communicate about anything.  The shades are always drawn and it's a heavy, dreary atmosphere.  There is the sense of a lot of unspoken negativity simmering in the background, its silence causing unbearable tension.  Connor seems to have a black cloud over his head, with his sad demeanor.  Lucas is his only friend.  A loyal friend.

The Vietnam war is ongoing and Lucas's older brother Leroy (called Roy) was drafted.  Lucas receives heavily redacted letters from Roy and worries about him returning home alive.  

I was born in the sixties and I remember how the summers seemed to last forever as a child.  We were able to safely leave our homes in the morning and come back home before dark, having all kinds of adventures and experiences with our friends.  Well, Lucas is a very responsible and self-sufficient kid whose "tipping point" day launches the book to unravel a very moving life's story.  You never know who you will meet in life.  It kind of reminds me of that special thing Fred Rogers (of Mister Rogers Neighborhood) would do that could move you to tears where he'd ask you to think silently for 10 seconds about the people you'd like to thank, who had a huge, positive impact on your life.  They might still be alive, or they may have already gone to heaven; but wouldn't it make them happy to know that you've thought about them?  I strongly suggest you read this lovely story of a boy named Lucas who was a catalyst for saving people's lives.
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Another winner from Catherine Ryan Hyde.  I anxiously await each of her new books, and this one did not disappoint. Friendship shows no bounds between young and old.  The subjects of age, depression and deep friendships makes for another wonderful book
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This was a beautiful novel about a boy who finds solace in a pair of dogs he finds in the woods along with their owner Zoe. This was heartbreaking, beautiful and poetic all in one. Catherine has beautiful writing and i cant wait to see what she has next.
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This book was everything a typical CRH book has and more. There's the usual troubled teen/older person pairing, there's animals you come to love, and there's also the life lesson: One decision can alter the entire direction your life takes. 

I enjoyed the book, I enjoy all books by Catherine. I'm giving it a solid 4.5 stars :)

Thanks netgalley for giving me the advanced PDF so that I can share my opinions with y'all
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Catherine Ryan Hyde knows how to write magic. Once you open the covers of one of her books, your lost. Stay was no exception. I loved this story! At times, I felt my heart would stop from all the emotions I felt coming from the characters they were so real.
This book contained so much love, pain, anger, much emotion, I can't believe the covers could hold it all. 
Can a single choice change the direction of your life.? This is what young 14 year old Lucas faces as he struggles to help his friends and family through their life's difficulties.
The Authors usual stellar writing, exceptional characters and real life plot earns more than a 5 star rating, but alas 5 stars is all I can give. 
A must read, well worth your time!

Thank you so much to NetGalley The author and publisher for an advanced copyrights book. All opinions are my own.
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This was an emotional but unputdownable read. I resonated so much with Lucas and his worry for others around him. I was saddened by the difficult events and relationships in this book, but ultimately hopeful. In some ways, probably because of the era, this reminded me a tiny smidge of one of my most beloved books, The Wednesday Wars - but it is more intense than that and not written for middle grade. I really need to read more of her backlist because this writing is incredible.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is fantastically well written, looking deep into the heart of the narrator. The characters are real and care about each other. The story is narrated by Lucas, and starts when he is 14 years old in the summer of 1969. His parents fight and yell at each other, his best friend has a black cloud hanging over his head and his brother is unhappy to be stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Lucas befriends a woman living in the woods and is haunted by her past. She provides guidance to him, and eventually Lucas  introduces his friend to her, hoping she can help him deal with his depression. This book is so enlightening in this day of social media and lack of  true friendships. This book would be a delight to read for someone of any age. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I received a free electronic ARC of this exceptional historical novel from Netgalley, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Lake Union Publishing.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.  I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.  'Stay' is an excellent tale centered on the baby boomer generation, but also paints special pictures and insights into the '60s and '70s for our children and grandchildren.  This is the best, most honest profile of the growing pains of our generation that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Catherine Ryan Hyde always hits it out of the ballpark.  'Stay' is no exception - within just a few pages you are invested in the lives and problems of these special characters.  Each protagonist is so easily pictured there are almost no bad guys - because you understand where they are coming from, as clearly as you do the sympathetic personalities. This a perfect slice of life in my history, and that of many boomers out there.

This coming-of-age story is told looking back from the present to the youth of 14-year-old Lucas Painter, beginning in the summer of 1969 just two days before school was out for the summer.  1969 was a tumultuous time in the United States, and the pros and cons of that turmoil are presented in an unbiased and understanding manner. We see how the individual decisions made then have affected a couple of subsequent generations, and what makes up a family, the need for truth and loyalty, and most of all, forgiveness.  This was an all-nighter.  It is a novel I will want to read again in the not to distant future - these are people I will enjoy visiting again.
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This is a sweet sad story, narrated by Lucas with dueling timelines. When he's 14 he is dealing with a brother in Vietnam, parents who fight constantly and loneliness.  He discovers two dogs in the woods and starts running with them daily.  The dog's owner, Zoe , is a hermit who lives in the middle of the woods because she feels guilty about an accident many years ago. Zoe and Lucas become friends and help each other cope with life.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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STAY by Catherine Ryan Hyde

How can one choice change a person’s life forever? One decision? Just one little thing you decide to do that changes the course of your life and the people you love most? 

Lucas Painter is a child. Only fourteen years old and he already has the weight of the world on his shoulders. At least that is the way it turns out in the summer of 1969. His parents are constantly yelling. His brother is in Vietnam. His best friend is so messed up he doesn’t ever leave his house unless Lucas can convince him too. Then just for short periods of time. Lucas is a good boy. He never lies. He’s fair to everyone. He tries so hard to be the kind of kid people like. One day he decides to take a shortcut home and his life is never the same. 

Lucas thinks he has to be strong for everyone but himself. He gives. He gives without expectations. He is always there to listen. To help anyone who may need him. The day he takes this shortcut is the beginning of a summer that will shape him, his brother, his best friend and a woman, Zoe, who thought it was time to go. But Lucas helped her to STAY!! He convinces her to STAY! Everyday Lucas goes running with Zoe’s dogs. They love to run, he loves to run. It helps him release stress and he definitely has a lot of that. Then one day he meets Zoe. Zoe has a whole story of her own and Lucas finally gets to know it all.

Throughout this story you learn more and more about the characters and it will touch your heart in ways you may not have experienced with a book. Though I have felt every emotion there is while reading, this one gives me every single one of those feels. The loneliness, sadness, happiness, tears, laughter, love, despair, need, wanting, you name it it’s in here. This is one book that truly is a page turner. Once you start it you will not want to put it down. It’s by far my favorite book by this author and I have read and loved several.

You’ll love the characters. The time frame. The town. Most of the people. The descriptions. You’ll feel like you are right beside Lucas during all of this. It starts going back in time to the summer of 1969 then in the end goes fifty years ahead to let you know what happened to everyone and I do mean everyone. It does not leave you guessing or hanging. It has the perfect ending to what to me is the perfect book.. I honestly loved this book so much. I won’t be forgetting this story. It did make me do some ugly crying but it was so worth it. 

Thank you #NetGalley, Lake Union and Catherine Ryan Hyde for this beautiful ARC. This is my own true review.

It’s a huge 5 stars and I most highly recommend it to everyone.
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Stay, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, is proof of the power of a story to remind you of what is important.  Hyde, a masterful writer, creates characters who are so nuanced and layered that it is hard to believe that they are not real.  This multifaceted jewel of a story focuses on fourteen-year-old, Lucas.  It is 1969; the Vietnam War is raging.  Lucas fears for his older brother’s safety, his parents’ happiness and the life of his best friend who, is dealing with depression. 

Hyde’s writing is impeccable – every character’s voice is clear and authentic.  Her prose captures both people and settings. She deals with the most challenging of life issues – war, fear, death, suicide, addiction, etc.  Yet, she presents a world that is optimistic, caring, and uplifting.  This is an excellent choice for a holiday gift, for you or a loved one!

Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.  It was a pleasure.
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