Stay, by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Another triumphant read by Catherine Ryan Hyde! Her stories are so unique, with the only steady common denominator being an unlikely friendship between a child and an adult.

It is the summer of 1969 and fourteen year old Lucas Painter is mourning his older brother’s absence in Vietnam, his best friend’s depression, and his parents’ volatile marriage. His main enjoyment is running, made even better when he befriends two dogs in the woods near his home. What Lucas doesn’t know-and will soon discover-is that the dogs belong to a long time resident and social outcast in their small town. Gossipy and unforgiving, the locals hold a grudge against this woman for a tragedy that happened years before.

Undaunted, Lucas sees past the prejudice. He finds solace in her company, often seeking her wisdom and advice, not even realizing the healing effect of his own presence. As time passes and more characters become involved, festering emotional wounds are confronted and choices must be made.

Like all books by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Stay is one that makes you hold up a mirror and ask how you would behave in a certain situation. We’ve all experienced conflicts, we’ve all been in circumstances with shades of gray, and we’ve all had times when holding a grudge was easier than extending mercy. Easier, but not necessarily right.

I loved this book and highly recommend it.

9/10 Stars

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