Tag Archives: feel-good

Review: Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

3 Stars

Worthy is the story of missed connections and surprising reconnections.  It’s ultimately one of those books that you read and you get warm fuzzies.  The story begins with Virginia, a waitress at a small diner in a small town.  The diner is being put up for sale and she’s devastated.  She’s begun a friendship with the hope for more with a local man, Aaron.  He comes into the diner regularly for lunch or dinner and they talk.  She’s fallen head over heels for him and for his 4 year old son, Buddy.  Virginia and Aaron share their first kiss behind the diner that evening and before they can explore where that kiss would lead, tragedy strikes and they are never given that chance.

Fast forward nineteen years and we meet Virginia again.  She’s recently engaged but has never forgotten Aaron or Buddy.  Her beloved dog, T-Rex, goes missing and unbeknownst to her, a young man who lives up in the hills has found him.  Jody sees a man dropping off a dog and turning him loose.  He knows that the dog will die if someone doesn’t help and after a short fight with his conscience, he brings the dog to the cabin he shares with his Grampa.  They begin to bond and he renames him Worthy.

Virginia and Jody soon meet when people put two and two together and realize that Worthy and T-Rex are the same dog.  Jody feels his conscience weigh on him and when he learns that Virginia never let him loose and it was her (now ex-) fiancée that did it, he feels the need to return the dog to its rightful owner.  Unfortunately they are caught in one of the worst ice storms that the area has ever seen and before he can just drop off the dog and leave, he finds himself stuck in the diner with Virginia.  A diner that makes him feel uncomfortable, thought he can’t say why.  Throughout their forced confinement, they begin to spark a friendship that opens up a surprising connection to their pasts.

I found myself wanting to continually reach through the pages and hug Jody.  He was a wonderful character.  You can painfully see how his losses as a young boy had such a profound effect on him.  He is awkward, direct, emotionally stunted but he’s incredibly inquisitive.  He’s protective and loyal.  I absolutely loved Jody and his story and his progression.  I liked the story too.  Was a good solid read and one I’d recommend for one of those cold days where you just want to curl up on the couch with a nice mug of tea and zone out for awhile.

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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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