On an isolated Texas ranch, Dr. Lucy cares for abandoned animals. The solitude allows her to avoid the people and places that remind her of the past. Not that any of the townsfolk care. In 1959, no one is interested in a woman doctor. Nor are they welcoming Calvin and Justin Bell, a newly arrived African American father and son.
When Pete Solomon, a neglected twelve-year-old boy, and Justin bring a wounded wolf-dog hybrid to Dr. Lucy, the outcasts soon find refuge in one another. Lucy never thought she'd make connections again, never mind fall in love. Pete never imagined he'd find friends as loyal as Justin and the dog. But these four people aren't allowed to be friends, much less a family, when the whole town turns violently against them.
With heavy hearts, Dr. Lucy and Pete say goodbye to Calvin and Justin. But through the years they keep hope alive...waiting for the world to catch up with them.
©2016 Catherine Ryan Hyde. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
This story grazes upon on a number of sensitive subjects. There was the issue of a female doctor, Lucille “Lucy” Armstrong, whose husband left her as her professional standing exceeded his. In addition, her adolescent son resented her because of her work schedule. Adding insult to injury, Dr. Armstrong was lacking in respectable patients as many people in the rural area of Texas refused to be treated by a woman. Then author also deals with the issue of child abuse and abandonment as the reader was introduced to the life of twelve-year-old Pete Solomon. When Pete took pity on an injured wolf dog and got help from a ten-year-old black boy Justin Bell to carry the dog to Dr. Lucy, the author introduced animal abuse, racism and hate crimes into the story.
I enjoyed how the author weaved the story together although I felt she didn’t really delve deep into any of those issues. It was enough for the reader to consider each character’s plight and how they dealt with their lot in life. These four people were outcasts or not part of the acceptable society’s circle, but they found in each other an anchor. Many times, people say blood is thicker than water, but many families are “chosen” or “formed” by necessity. This was one of those times that a makeshift family provided love, acceptance, support and encouragement in a situation where it was badly needed.
Once I started this book, I didn’t put it down. It wasn’t exactly tear inducing but there was a small dose of angsty. I definitely had an emotional connection to the characters because I felt bad for Pete, Justin and for Calvin and Lucy as a couple. That journey to lasting love certainly touched me. There were different kinds of love expressed in this book and it made up for the pain and hatred shown to the characters. There was an encouraging evolution in this book that gave me hope for society today.
I didn’t give this book a five-star rating because while the author did a great job developing the heroine Lucy as well as Pete, but I had a surface grasp on Justine, his father Calvin and Pete’s father. I would have liked more information regarding Pete’s father, especially from his own perspective. Still, this book was really a moving and poignant read.
I am an audio book addict. Love staging the drama in my head, especially psychological intrigue and mysteries.
It is hard to believe the positive revues I read about this story that explores racial tensions that erupt over the friendship between an African American and White boy in rural segregated community in the United States. It is a story with good intentions, however, the responses of the characters to one another and to situations that confront them, are so naive and irrational that the story just falls flat. An African American boy has an injury and is taken by his White friend to a women doctor’s house to nurse his injuries inflicted by persons angry over the association of the boys. The boy’s father comes to see about the son, and instead of taking his son to his own house or to a hospital, the father immediately moves in with the doctor for a week, to supposedly comfort the boy while he recuperates. The White friend also becomes a guest in the doctor's house in order to avoid a whipping from his father. The actions and the dialogue of the characters are so unlikely and contrived that I could not finish this book. While the story narrators were quite satisfactory, the story appeared to be written by a stranger from another country or an idealistic pre-teen trying to fabricate reality, but doing it badly. This story just does not ring true.
AAAAAAAHHHHHMMMMAAAZZZZZZZING! Read this. Pick this book. top of the stacks! incredible story and so so so good. don't wait start listening to or read this now.
It's my favorite in its genre.
I liked the complicated characters, and that animals were an important part of the story.
They both did a great job. It's nice to listen to a book when my eyes are tired.
I wouldn't rename it.
This is my second Catherine Ryan Hyde novel. I look forward to reading/listening to more of her stories.
I am Very Picky in my books. An had a hard time having to leave the chapter due to a busy time. But it was one of the Best Books I've heard in a a Long time. We'll worth the time!!!
The narration, particularly the male's, was tedious, overly theatrical and forced. It was written very simply and read that way for adults. Unfortunately for this one, I didn't enjoy it as I have some of her other works.
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