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review 2018-06-21 21:55
Heaven Adjacent - Catherine Ryan Hyde

Debbie Krenzer's Reviews > Heaven Adjacent

Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Heaven Adjacent 
Catherine Ryan Hyde (Goodreads Author)
This was definitely the quirkiest bunch of characters I've ever seen all in one book. 

Roseanna is a high powered attorney who snaps when her best friend and law partner suddenly dies. She decides to go for a ride in her Maserati and winds up buying a piece of property that includes 76 acres near the Adirondack Mountains.

No only does Roseanna get those 76 acres with hills, creeks, a barn and a small guesthouse, she also gets squatters. 

It's a story about a lot of things including finding yourself, finding and connecting with your adult son again, helping others, and love in many phases.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and getting to know these quirky characters. I chuckled many times while reading this book. Definitely entertaining!

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2018-03-31 23:26
Say Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Say Goodbye for Now - Catherine Ryan Hyde

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I enjoyed this book. I really thought that this was going to be a book about a dog based on the cover. I obviously did not read the book's summary prior to starting this audiobook. There is a dog in the book but that dog is really not the main focus of the story. This was a story about race, love, and what really makes up a family. I am so glad that I stumbled upon this wonderful story.

This book is told from two points of view. Dr. Lucy takes care of animals and the occasional human that comes to her for help. She lives a rather isolated life on her ranch and likes it that way. Pete is a 12 year old boy that happens upon a wounded dog laying on the side of the road and feels compelled to help. Pete finds help for the dog in Dr. Lucy and so much more.

The characters in this book were wonderful and they all had their own complex story to tell. Dr. Lucy has been through a lot. The book is set in a time where people do not want to take a female doctor seriously so Lucy uses her skills to help animals. Pete has had a lot to deal with in his short life. Despite the way he is treated, he is still such a good kid and works hard to do what he feels is right. Justin and his father, Calvin, are new in town. The town has not been welcoming to them and has treated them poorly because of the fact that they are African American.

I loved the way that the relationships between these characters developed. If the rest of the world would simply go away, these four people would be very happy. Pete and Justin have so much in common and I loved watching their friendship progress. Lucy goes from being alone most of the time to have a real connection to Pete, Justin, and Calvin. Everything about their interactions seemed natural and it made me very angry that the local citizens did everything they could to not allow any of the connections to exist.

The narrators both did a great job with this story. I really do enjoy it when audiobooks utilize multiple narrators. Nick Podehl did a great job with Pete's point of view which was no small task since the character is a 12 year old boy. Teri Schnaubelt voices the parts that were told from Dr. Lucy's point of view. Both narrators were able to bring a lot of emotion into the story telling and were very pleasant to listen to for long periods of time. I would not hesitate to listen to either of these narrators again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. This was a very well told story that really care about the characters. This was the first book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I have read but I wouldn't hesitate to read more of her work in the future.

Initial Thoughts
I thought that this was going to be a book about a dog. I obviously didn't read the blurb about the book before reading it probably because I was distracted by the pretty dog on the cover. There is a dog in the book. A wolf-dog but the dog isn't the main point of the book. This book is about race, love, and what makes a family. The narrators did a good job with the story. 

Book source: Audible purchase

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review 2017-12-05 03:57
The Wake Up
The Wake Up - Catherine Ryan Hyde

By:  Catherine Ryan Hyde

ISBN: 9781542047951

Publisher: Lake Union 

Publication Date:  12/5/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  5 Stars 


Master storyteller, Catherine Ryan Hyde returns following (2017) Allie and Bea and (2016) Say Good-Bye for Now landing on my Top Books of 2016 with her latest emotional, moving, and heartfelt novel THE WAKE UP – a spiritual journey of rediscovery, self-worth, hope, and acceptance. 

A man and a boy have lost their way. Fate steps in and connects these two in unexpected ways. They slowly learn they have more in common than they may know. Each will ultimately find solace in a past of abuse and injustice, with trust and love.

Empathy equals good. Lack of empathy equals bad. Is there a balance? 

Aiden Delacorte a single forty-year-old cattle rancher. He inherited the ranch from his deceased stepfather, which had adopted him. His mother has dementia and in a home in Buffalo. 

One day while hunting, something odd happens to Aiden. He shoots a buck and at the same time, literally falls to the grown, in horrible pain. He is feeling the animal’s pain.

Shocked, he discovers he has "empathy" for animals in a way he cannot tolerate slaughter, dressing, or eating the animals. His so-called gift will cause him disgrace among other ranchers and cattlemen, and his present girlfriend, Livia. They break up. She does not understand this new Aiden. 

THE WAKE UP. There was something different about that day. Even before it became painfully obvious. Even before it left Aiden no choice but to fully live through it. Slowly he starts feeling the feelings of animals, and even some humans. (both good and bad). 

Aiden was also abused by his biological father and has repressed some of his past. He recalls drowning his fear with a bottle at a young age and became an alcoholic. He has been clean for years; a fine and upstanding citizen.

The worst part, with his new gift, he will have to give up his career and sell off his cattle. Would his stepfather be ashamed of him or tell him to follow his heart? Others would make fun of him for not being a real man. 

In the meantime, he seeks the help of a psychiatrist, Hannah to get a handle on his life. He also meets Gwen a single mother in town and clerk at the grocery store. She has two children: Elizabeth and Milo. 

Milo is a troubled child. Abused in many ways by his father. Gwen has her hands full with the boy. Gwen and Aiden begin dating one another. Elizabeth adores Aiden; however, Milo is acting out in unspeakable ways and Aiden becomes involved in the process.

When Aiden sees this, first he is upset at his cruelty to animals; however, decides he will help the boy, even though he makes it literally impossible at times. He needs to teach him differently. Can he trust him with the animals, he dearly loves? 

Gwen and her children move into a little cabin on Aiden’s property and their relationship progresses. Elizabeth warms up to Aiden immediately; however, Milo is a different story. He is a very sensitive boy, due to his past abuse. 

He needs someone to believe in him. 

Milo struggles with never being good enough. The fear. However, Aiden is persistent and determined to demonstrate taking something ugly and broken to pieces, can be put back to together and into something beautiful. However, it involves a big dose of trust. Taking a chance on a boy. To care for a precious colt. 

From past to present while working with Dr. Hannah Rutledge, Alien revisits his past and his demons. From a boy to the present 40-year-old man, he discovers hidden truths of his own life, which may ultimately help rebuild Milo and at the same time, provide answers to his own problems. 

Breaking the cycle of abuse. Healing from the darkest places. Using trust and love to overcome tragedy. This newfound empathy of Aiden’s touches every part of his life, and discovers the importance of compassion, love, and acceptance—and at the same time able to pass along tools to help Milo change his life, as well. 

A father who finds a son defective and unworthy of love. From hiding the pain to acting out. The emotion had to go somewhere. A haunting and beautifully written story of love, loss, hope, trust, and rediscovery. 

I especially enjoyed how Aiden uses the love of animals, and the broken pots turned into mosaic art to transform a young boy. A lesson for us all in today’s cruel world. Instead of punishment, drugs, and doctors –taking the time to learn what causes the pain. Teaching, understanding, and patience.Offering ways to channel the rage in other ways to promote healing and self-esteem that has been torn down. 

Catherine Ryan Hyde has a special gift with stories of the heart. Her love of animals is reflective throughout THE WAKE UP. Extraordinary! Each of her stories possesses power and emotion. Thought-provoking, with a strong takeaway message. Each is unique and different and enjoy how she connects lost souls in unexpected and magical ways. 

An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. (guide included). If you have not read Catherine Ryan Hyde’s book, you are missing a rare opportunity. You will learn something every time you open her books as the characters jump off the page. 

Upcoming: From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a bittersweet novel about healing old wounds and finding a new place to call home… Heaven Adjacent coming May 22, 2018! A definite pre-order. Be sure to add this one to your reading list for the new year. 

A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/10/The-Wake-Up
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review 2017-09-21 00:00
Ask Him Why
Ask Him Why - Catherine Ryan Hyde This is a think piece. The oldest son was a soldier before being sent home. He wouldn't go out on a mission. That is breaking the law so it turns into a big deal that makes the entire family suffer and never be the same. It changes everything. They have to finally get past the fallout years later. It's touching.
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review 2017-05-25 08:13
Allie and Bea
Allie and Bea - Catherine Ryan Hyde

By:  Catherine Ryan Hyde 

ISBN:  978-1477819715

Publisher:  Lake Union 

Publication Date: 5/23/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 4 Stars 


Master storyteller, Catherine Ryan Hyde returns following Say Good-Bye for Now landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with another emotional thought-provoking saga ALLIE AND BEA – two protagonists from different generations caught up an unfair system find they may learn something from one another.

The best and worst of humanity.

Bea a senior barely making it on her small social security check. Her husband is deceased and she resides in a mobile home with her cat Phyllis. Her savings is nearly depleted trying to make ends meet.

Then a phone scammer saying he is from the IRS to collect back taxes. Quickly her money is gone. Wiped out. She has nowhere to turn and nowhere to live. Even her rent check will bounce since someone wiped out her bank account.

Feeling stupid and helpless, she has to change her direct deposit bank account and decides she has no choice but to live in her old van with her cat; and leaves her things with a friend. She barely has enough money for gas and food for another month until she receives her next social security check.

Then she is faced with the impossible and begins doing things she never thought she would do in order to survive. Bea does not have any knowledge of cell phones, nor the internet. She never had the opportunity to do much traveling nor see the world. She is rough around the edges, and over the years she has learned not to let others in or get too close. She does not trust easily, cynical, and now a loner. How will she continue to survive sleeping in her van and too old for a job?

Told from two points of view, we meet Allie. Allie is a teen and wise beyond her years. She is smart and has strong principals and integrity. She is a devout vegan and very strict with her food and lifestyle.

She has just discovered her mom and dad are being arrested for tax fraud and being sent to jail. She is left with a social worker, and has to leave her home, friends, school, and all her possessions -
taken to a group home. Allie has no clue of the evil of this world.

All this is foreign to Allie. She soon learns people in this world are not so nice. Some of the girls are very dangerous at the group home and things get out of hand. She has nowhere to turn and no money. Then her only hope is a friend who helps her escape and soon finds herself in another nightmare even worse than what she left. Human trafficking.

She has one shot in order to escape a madman. Soon an unlikely old woman and a runaway teen connect. Two lives both desperate. They soon discover they may learn some hard life lessons together.

As always, Hyde takes readers on a thought-provoking adventure. It may not be an easy road; however, her characters always find a way to connect with someone on a different path to change their lives. Fate intersects. They may not know the reason for the encounter, but you can be assured they were meant to take the journey.

Even though I could relate to Bea being a senior, had to think of my recent experience with my dad, age 86 yrs old with this crazy healthcare system and a recent phone scam. Luckily he did not get sucked into this and lose his money.


I also related to Allie in so many ways. She is wise beyond her years. She has integrity. I am also a vegan and some of the reactions are ones I face daily. I had to laugh when I went to a shelter during our last Florida hurricane evacuation. I could eat nothing they had. It was good I packed some healthy snacks and was able to go home the following day. Being a vegan is foreign to many in our world. Lots of laughs between the two.

I admired Allie for her strong principals; however, it also demonstrated how when faced with survival, how people get desperate enough to cross moral and ethical lines. A heartwarming story of the kindness of others. She taught Bea so much about herself.

No one can take you on a better road trip adventure than Catherine Ryan Hyde— mixed with life messiness, emotion, heart, and lots of humor. I think we have all been close to living in our car at one time or another, in our lives when things have looked hopeless.

A good look at our broken system and how it fails the young and the old in different and similar ways. When this happens, we may not always have a family; however, there may be a guardian angel where we least expect through the kindness of a stranger.

The highs and loves of life! The cracks in life let the light through. After reading a CRH book you want to rush out and do something good for someone, or volunteer at a homeless shelter. Help someone less fortunate. You want to give back. Life changing moments. Inspiring.

In addition to the reading copy, also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Lauren Ezzo and Janet Metzger with an engaging performance for both voices. Loved the journey along the Pacific Coast. One of my favorite cities: Santa Barbara, CA! I was curious to see how these two souls from different walks of life would connect - fans will enjoy this one.

From an online interview with the author we get a glimpse into what’s coming next:

“After Allie and Bea will come a novel called The Wake-Up, about a former cattle rancher who becomes so sensitive to the emotions of others that his entire life is turned upside-down. And all this just as he’s trying to find his way with a seriously abused new stepson who can’t be trusted around his animals.” Read more

Ironically, have read many of CRH books ; however, realized this evening I have never watched or read, Catherine Ryan Hyde’s international sensation, Pay It Forward, the moving story of Trevor McKinney, a 12-year-old boy who accepts his social studies teacher’s challenge to come up with a plan to change the world. Rented it tonight on Amazon Kindle- highly recommend if you have not read the book or watched the movie. (have some Kleenex handy).

A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/01/Allie-and-Bea
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