August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his 19-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go.
What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip - and the bonds that develop between them- would prove, driving each to create a new destiny together.
©2014 Catherine Ryan Hyde (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
A day without listening is a day with wasted time
I just loved this story about summers traveling in an RV visiting National Parks. It was positive in the face of troubles and full of taking life's heartaches and disappointments in stride. Uplifting and really poignant. I particularly liked the depiction of the idea of enjoying and savoring "just being" and not rushing through life. Beautifully read and totally engaging. A recommended listen.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
You won't find any murder mystery here, no mutilated bodies; there's no sex, no sci-fi or fantasy, no romance, nor crime scene investigations. So let me try to say what was so good about this book for me. It may be difficult to explain that without giving away a bit of the story but I will go ahead anyway.
This book is the second I have read by Ryan Hyde and I really loved both. It involves a road trip through many of the national parks of our great country. The protagonist is a science teacher on a summer vacation. He is dealing with some of life's rougher issues including the loss of his 19 year old son. He is on a pilgrimage of sorts, when his camper breaks down in a small town where he is forced to stay a few days while repairs are done.
Along the way, he acquires two boys as traveling companions for the entire summer. This touching and heart-felt story is about relationships. It is also a coming of age story. The "scenery" is wonderful, our national parks, and the story just resonated with me, so much so that I just hated to part with these characters.
This story took unexpected turns, some of which initially disturbed me. Life does that to you. It had a great narration by Jeff Cummings. I came away feeling happy and satisfied with just a touch of bittersweet. However, I am not ready to start my next audiobook (unusual for me.) I just have to steep in this one for a while more.
Oh geez, everything. Watching August's life change for the better and the worse was captivating, as was listening to the boys analyze situations and learn to adjust to what life threw at them.
Probably August as he was such a caring, thoughtful person. It's always nice to see a book where the person caring for children and having a positive impact on their lives is a man.
The ending, but I don't want to say why as I don't want to provide spoilers. I will say it left me satisfied with how things turned out. It can be hard to write a good ending but Catherine Hyde succeeded.
August. He's probably in my age range and I think he'd be a fine catch. Ummm, that was the meaning behind the question, yes?
The book focuses on the relationship between August and two boys (Seth and Henry), as well as the relationship between the boys and their alcoholic father. The story progresses through various phases of these relationships and shows how the characters change over time. Much of this change is due to the interactions between the four people, and by the time I was well into the third part of the book it felt as though I'd known these characters for many years. Some of the dialogue is of the mundane everyday chitchat you might have with a family member, but there were many parts of the book where I stopped whatever I was doing just to better take in the scene. The wide variety of conversations gave the book a more realistic feeling, as though I was actually on the road with August, Seth, and Henry. I thought the book had several slow points in the first 2 hours or so, and I had debated whether it was worth continuing, but having listened to the entire thing I'm incredibly glad I stayed with it. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed and was touched by the story.
We've got him outnumbered; hope he can learn to like girly books.
Sentimental, but deeply so. This is not just the easy overly sweet sentimentality of some of my other selections in the last month. August and the boys, even Wes are all three dimensional characters with strengths and weaknesses. They seem to be more people than a overly idealized product of the author's imagination.
There was also the circular nature of the two summers; eight years apart, and how much the two resemble each other only a rotation has occurred over time in the roles they all play. Wes is a highly flawed man; he's an alcoholic with a tenuous sense of parental responsibility. His limitations make the difference between him August all too apparent to his sons and seeing it reflected in their feelings and actions leave him unable to accept the relationship between the interloper and his sons. Though he's flawed he's not evil; just a little too cavalier, a little too careless when it comes to being a parent.
Sometimes it seems that I'm a stamp tramp (a How I Met Your Mother reference) and I occasionally give five stars a bit too easily but if I could, I'd give this one six stars. This selection has led me to check out other CRH audios and I'll get another one soon. I hope that at some point the author picks up the narrative again with a story that features Henry and/ or Seth. Don't miss this one.
A thoroughly engaging story of self-discovery for all involved, well, almost all. There is a considerable attention given to the plight of older but still underage children who must live with an uncovered alcoholic parent; but an equal amount given to the benefits of a dedicated sober alcoholic who is now responsible. It was for that reason, a bit preachy for my tastes, but the overall effect is still a gripping and heartwarming tale that will not disappoint and just flew by quickly. The narration was spot on!
What an uplifting book! The story was engaging and thought provoking without being a downer. The narration was excellent but a little slow for me, so I bumped it up to 1.25 speed which was perfect.
This is a happy, somewhat unbelievable, story to share on a trip without worrying about offending passengers riding with you. Characters are interesting, story holds your interest and from start to finish holds together. I usually pick murder, crime, etc., but this was a nice break.
A few words that come to mind "concocted" "emotionally manipulative" "patronizing" "not believable" "sappy". Narrator is easy to listen to on 2x speed.
Admittedly I parroted that idea about the Hallmark channel from another review but it's pretty much the best way to determine whether you will like this book.
Great story. Great characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book from start to finish. This story touches so many aspects of life: family, loss and grieving, serendipity, alcoholism, adventure, facing fears and other emotions, embracing life, being present and becoming a stronger, independent, open-minded and empathetic person. Such an all-around great story!!
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