Cover Image: Stay


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Member Reviews

Such a beautiful story! Exquisitely told, deeply moving, and thoughtfully tender. It is the summer of 1969 and 14-year-old Lucas has a lot too be concerned about. His parents are fighting nonstop, his brother is over in Vietnam, and his best friend doesn’t seem to want to leave the house. There was a lot of burden on this 14-year-old’s shoulders and so he took to running in the woods where he met Zoe and her dogs. At first Lucas would only run with the dogs and had very little interaction with Zoe, but soon they started to form a unexpected bond. Zoe is a reclusive still dealing with the consequences of an accident that happened over 20 years ago. She’s A little rough around the edges, lonely, and wise. Always lending a listening ear and offering quiet words of wisdom to Lucas. Lucas and Zoe are soon joined by Connor Lucas‘s best friend who has been going through some depression. Later when Roy comes home from Vietnam he also joins this unlikely pair turned trio and now quad. It was quite remarkable how strong the bond was between Zoe and these three young men, a bond that lasted over three decades.

   This book dealt with so many tough issues including suicide, drug addiction, and grief. Catherine Ryan Hyde does this with a loving hand and pure heart. The story is told entirely from Lucas‘s perspective. He was such an exceptional character so caring, so considerate, so wise. Even when he took a girl out on a date he seemed much older than 14, but in a very innocent way. He is one of those very special characters who wormed his way into my heart. This book just hit me right in the feels, one of the best coming-of-age stories I have read in quite some time.

This book in emojis. 🏃🏼‍♂️ 🐶 🐶 🌲 ☮️  

*** Big thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***
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Beautiful, just beautiful. In 1969, 14-year-old Lucas is dealing with being a teenager, parents that can’t get along, his brother in Vietnam, and a best friend who doesn’t leave the house. When it all gets to be too much, he heads to the woods where he encounters two dogs that look scary, but only want to run with him.  When Luke saves the life of the dogs’ owner’s life, he not only finds himself with someone else to watch out for, but with the one adult who is honest and looks out for him, despite not wanting to be involved. 
Lucas is one of those people that takes care of people. He is honest, caring, and has a strong sense of what is right. He is loyal to those he cares about. He makes choices that, though he doesn’t realize it at the time, alter the course of more than his life. 
This novel is well-written with intricately and fully developed characters.  It will pull you in and tug at your heartstrings. On one hand, my heart broke for all that Lucas went through; on the other I cheered him on. STAY is a wonderful novel that I recommend to anyone.
Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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What an absolute gem of a book!!  Yes, it's a coming of age story, but more than that it's a reflection of the time in that era of the Vietnam war.  The book touches on so many subjects: war, divorce, mental illness, suicide, drug addiction - - all serious subjects handled delicately . Along with the serious subjects, the angst of growing up was shown with humor and sensitivity.

The characters are wonderfully depicted and the atmosphere of the times seems very accurate.  I loved  how the author tied everything together in the end.

A very satisfying read!!
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A book that deals with the decisions and the connections that are made that effect the lives of beautiful heart warming characters that only Catherine Ryan Hyde can create! Absolutely a beautiful five star must read!
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Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my must-read authors because I have never been disappointed with any of her books I've read. She does a masterful job of creating unique characters and touching stories. Her latest book Stay was especially relatable for me since I also came of age during the Vietnam era. As usual, there was a focus on important issues and life lessons. The title of Stay was perfect in so many ways. Thanks to Net Galley and Lake Union Publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Catherine has written another heartfelt story, full of troubled, caring people—people who are in need of love and understanding. Stay is the perfect example of how, when it's all said and done, humans should treat other humans. We should all befriend those who may not seem to want or need friends, because you know what, everyone can use a good friend. 

Throughout the whole story, the word 'stay' takes on so many different meanings and applies to so many situations. It really becomes the central theme and made me think of the people that I want and need to stay in my life. 

This author writes with such beautiful and flowing words, words that are easy to settle into and savor to the end. Fans of Catherine Ryan Hyde will not be disappointed with this story and I know you will enjoy Stay as much as I did. Thank you NetGalley for my copy.
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I’ve now read about eight books by this author and loved almost all of them, and this is no exception. A moving, thought-provoking story about the kindest teenager ever, his friends and family and how a single decision can change your life. The wonderful thing is that Ms Hyde has written so many other books that I have loads more to look forward to!

It’s 1969 and Lucas Painter is fourteen and living in a small American town in an unspecified state. His parents fight all the time, his best friend is miserable and his revered older brother Roy is away fighting in Vietnam. When he finds an old cabin in the woods, with two huge dogs outside, his first instinct is to run, but when he realises that they are running with him rather than chasing him, a new passion is born. When he meets their owner, the surly Zoe Dinsmore, he doesn’t know about her tragic past, but Lucas’ determined compassion leads to them becoming friends, with consequences for all their lives.

Had I been guaranteed a child as wonderful as Lucas, even I might’ve been almost tempted to have children - he would seem too good to be true if this wasn’t told in first person past style - although in reality it was still the description of the kitten that tugged most at my heart-strings! His thoughtful view of the world, and overwhelming need to look after others, made such a nice change. I’m not sure I would’ve persevered with someone as prickly as Zoe, but her no-nonsense wisdom made her another fabulous character.

It’s been quite some time since I read a book set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, but the way this focussed on those left behind gave me a new perspective. In some ways this story could have taken place in the present, but the more innocent world that Lucas inhabits would seem unrealistic now - relying on letters from Roy and second hand news to learn about a conflict he doesn’t understand, while trying to block out the equally confusing war at home. Having had parents who also fought non-stop, and just as pointlessly, I identified strongly with him. I escaped into books, rather than running.

While there are sad moments, and dark themes, this is ultimately a very hopeful story about friendship and loving people for who they are, not what they’ve done. Oh and the cover is gorgeous. All the stars. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC which allowed me to give an honest review. Stay is available now.
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Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde tells the story of Lucas a fourteen year old boy with lots going on around him. His parents who yell at each other, his friend Connor next door who is morose and has family parental things going on as well. Lucas has a brother Roy, away in the war in Vietnam. And that's not a pretty story. What is a boy to do? Out in the woods one day he meets some dogs by a cabin and runs with them daily. And so he meets the owner of the cabin - Zoe Dinsmore who has a whole tragic history he has to find out about.

Zoe is a rather prickly woman but... she knows things and does something neither Lucas' or Connor's parents do.  But that's after Lucas does something for her.

The story is told by Lucas looking back at his life from the age of about sixty four. The story shows how Lucas has learned what is important in life, and throughout the story there are many places that are pithy little pointers about living a life with integrity.

The story explores friendship in many forms - same age and an older/younger person and brothers. It explores choices made, guilt and loss, people's judgemental attitudes, and the awful effects of drugs and war.

It was  refreshing to be with Lucas  as he endeavours to understand his world around him. To experience his first girlfriend and be wise enough to see within to who she really is. To see how he cared and went the next step even when he was discouraged by others.

It is a heart warming read, with a theme of hope even in trying circumstances. Can the people Lucas comes to love stay, can he stay with what he can control and let be what he cannot. A thought provoking story.
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Catherine has written another heartfelt story, full of troubled, caring people—people who are in need of love and understanding. Stay is the perfect example of how, when it's all said and done, humans should treat other humans. We should all befriend those who may not seem to want or need friends, because you know what, everyone can use a good friend. 

Throughout the whole story, the word 'stay' takes on so many different meanings and applies to so many situations. It really becomes the central theme and made me think of the people that I want and need to stay in my life. 

This author writes with such beautiful and flowing words, words that are easy to settle into and savor to the end. Fans of Catherine Ryan Hyde will not be disappointed with this story and I know you will enjoy Stay as much as I did.
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Stay was my first Catherine Ryan Hyde novel and to say that I am smitten is an understatement. I absolutely adored everything about this book! The main character, Lucas, was so genuine and considerate, and I quickly fell in love. He carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, yet he kept plugging along day after day to save the people in his life without complaint. It was heart-warming to see how much he cared about his best friend, Connor, despite Connor’s tendency to push him away. I loved watching Lucas’s friendship with Zoey grow, as he remained undeterred by the fact that she treated him like he was a nuisance. His connection with the dogs and the fact that he woke up early each day to go running with them was just an added bonus. 

This novel was so touching and beautiful, and I loved every moment spent with it. Catherine Ryan Hyde has been on my list for a while now, and I’m so glad I started with this one. Stay was absolute perfection, and I’d recommend this book to just about anybody regardless of reading preference.
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Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "Stay" by Catherine Ryan Hyde, December 3, 2019

Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of "Stay" has written a captivating, emotional, intriguing, memorable and enthralling novel. The Genre for this story is Fiction. The timeline for this story is around 1969 and the Vietnam War and goes to the past and future when it pertains to the characters or events. The author describes the colorful and dramatic cast of characters as complex, complicated, quirky and dysfunctional.

This is a coming of age story, and the themes of this story are family, friendship, kindness, forgiving and acceptance and communication. The author also discusses issues such as drug addiction, war, mental illness, and love and hope. I love the importance of animals in this story.

Catherine Ryan Hyde is an amazing storyteller and writes in a descriptive and vivid way. Lucas Palmer is 14 years old, and worries all the time about his brother, who is in Vietnam, his neighbor and friend Connor, who has problems, and his parents who are always fighting. Feeling frustrated and runs into the woods and soon discovers two large dogs that wind up running with him. He meets their owner, Zoe, an older woman with a tragic past. Little does Lucas know, that one kind, compassionate and brave action on his part, will lead to helping Lucas and the people he cares about.

I would highly recommend this thought-provoking novel.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde is an author that I will always read no matter what. I don't need to know what the book is about because I always enjoy her books and she always write a solid story. 

Stay is no exception. This story is about many different relationships. I always feel that relationships that are unexpected are some of the best and the author proves this to be true. Catherine Ryan Hydealways drops nuggets of wisdom throughout her stories.

If you have not read any of this author's works, I would highly recommend it. You can't go wrong.
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When Lucas Painter was only fourteen, he felt weighed down by what was happening around him. His big brother Roy, whom he idolized, was away fighting in Vietnam – Lucas continually worried that he wouldn’t make it home again. His parents were forever fighting; yelling at one another – Lucas needed to leave the house to get away from the harsh words. His best friend Connor was struggling with issues concerning his mother and father and Lucas worried he couldn’t help his friend.

The day Lucas wandered into the nearby woods (against him mother’s orders) he stumbled across an old cabin which he hadn’t known was there. The two large dogs outside were restless and anxious, so Lucas was sure something was wrong. What he found had him rushing home to the phone…

Over the following days and weeks, Lucas found solace with those dogs. Each morning before school, Lucas and the dogs ran and while he was running, Lucas found his worries lessened. Zoe Dinsmore was the owner of the dogs and she and Lucas struck up an unlikely friendship. He felt closer to Zoe than he was to his own mother, and the advice she gave him always made sense. Could Zoe, Connor and Lucas connect, helping each other with what was drawing the darkness in? Lucas wanted both Zoe and Connor to stay – would his idea work?

Stay is the 2nd novel I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Hyde and once again I loved it. This author has a beautiful way with words; poignant, memorable and enlightening. Set in the summer of 1969, Stay has four main characters – Zoe, a broken but inspiring woman of fifty five, whose past was a tragedy; Lucas and Connor, both fourteen with a friendship that knew no boundaries; and Lucas’ brother Roy, whose time in Vietnam was heartbreaking. A brilliant read, and I’m now convinced I need to check out more of this author’s work. Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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This was my first time reading Catherine Ryan Hyde and I’m wondering why I waited so long. As some of you know I don’t hand out five stars often. So is this one of the best-written books out there? No, but there is a quiet wisdom buried in these pages on subjects that many people either tip-toe around or scream about that makes these stars well deserved. This story mixes the beauty of friendship, the loneliness within a broken family, and the casualties of war. It begs the question can you make a person want to stay.

It’s 1969, Lucas Painter is fourteen, and he has a lot to worry about. His parents argue just about daily, his big brother Roy is fighting over in Vietnam, and his best friend Connor seems depressed. Lucas needs to take a breather from it all, so he takes a walk in the woods behind his house and stumbles upon an old cabin. Two huge, but friendly dogs greet him and become his running mates. Eventually, Lucas meets their owner Zoe Dinsmore, a woman with a tragic past who has all but given up on life. Her love for the dogs seems to be what’s keeping her here. Great, Lucas thinks, one more person to worry about.

Eventually, Zoe and Lucas develop a unique friendship, and through a series of events, Lucas, in the most unpretentious way, helps not just Zoe but other people find their way.

This book has many memorable moments, moments that made me realize what truly caring for a person looks like. It also got me thinking about how our actions do make a difference. We may never know the lives that may be touched by the people we help today. I wish I could share some of the moving quotes that I just had to write down, but I want you to experience them in the context of this beautiful story.

Warnings: Suicide, Drug use, War

Thank you to @netgalley and @lakeunionauthors for this arc for review.
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Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde is an incredible read. It's so good that I think everyone should read it. There's something here for everyone, including teenagers.

The story centers on Lucas who carries the weight of everyone in his life on his shoulders. He feels everything so deeply and worries about everyone. The characters in this book are so very well done that if they walked into my house I wouldn't be surprised. The story of Lucas and Zoe is so very heartwarming.....but all the interwoven stories are.

I don't know how Catherine Ryan Hyde continues to produce book after book that are must reads, but she really does and I hope she never stops.

Pick this up. I don't care who you are, pick this up. Give it to friends and read it again!

Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC at my request. All thoughts in this review are mine and gratefully given. This book touched me deeply.
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3.5 stars. This is a nice story about unlikely friendships and loyalty. It is a very sweet story and shows how you can use your own pain or struggles to help another person, and how being needed is a help in and of itself. It moves along at a very slow pace and there is not very much action. But it would make a good book for a discussion group.
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Another beautiful story by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  This author never misses the mark!  This is a coming of age story that delves head first into suicide, addiction, and dysfunction.  The characters however become your friends and you will find yourself wanting them to overcome their issues.  This is a first class read!  I highly recommend it!
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Wow!! I read this In 2 short sittings & need to take a bit to process still but I just LOVED this look. I am a huge Catherine Ryan Hyde fan, her writing style is just.beaitiful. What an incredible story.
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Lucas is a fourteen-year-old boy whose good friend, Conner, is depressed. He has parents who are fighting, His older brother is in Vietnam. Set in 1969, this is a coming of age story. Lucas runs with a couple of dogs who live with a woman named Zoe. Catherine Hyde is masterful in her writing about life’s problems. Lucas is there for everyone, I loved the characters and how the story is developed. I think this book would be a great bookclub read. I know I am going to suggest it to mine,Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review,
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As always with Catherine Ryan Hyde the characters that she writes stay with you, even when you are not reading. They become friends that you ponder whilst going about your day. Stay is a powerful story with life lessons interwoven between and among engaging plot lines. Lucas could be your childhood friend, or your son or grandson. The lessons of loss and how it impacts our lives are timeless...but are beautifully woven among the angst that is the Vietnam era in the USA. Addiction, depression, loss and hope faced by each generation can teach future generations how better to cope...and are told beautifully in Stay.
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