Review: Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

4 stars

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.  I went into it very skeptical because the premise seemed completely outlandish.  Science teacher on summer vacation, August, breaks down along the route to Yellowstone and is towed to a repair shop where the owner presents him with a very unique deal.  He will fix the motor home for free if August will take his two young sons, Seth and Henry, with him for the summer.  Why?  Because he’s going to jail for 90 days and there is no one else, other than the County, to take care of his boys.

Right away I was intrigued by the plot.  What kind of parent willingly gives his sons into the hands of a stranger and lets them go halfway across the country?  What kind of person willingly takes on the responsibility of two young boys that he’s just met?  What drives a person to have to make that decision in the first place?  Who are these people and what happens to them?  That’s why I picked up this book and started reading.  And I will say, once I started, I was unable to stop.

I found myself completely immersed in this summer vacation with August, Seth and Henry.  Each one of them came out of their shells and changed one another during their three months together.  They were real.  They were vivid.  They leapt off the page and became real people.  People I recognized from my own life.

Not only do you get to follow through their summer together, you also get to watch as they grow months and then years afterward.  How their summer together changed the entire trajectory of the lives of Seth and Henry.  How a chance encounter one day can change forever change a life.  How many times has that happened to any one of us?

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