Judith D Collins
Take Me With You
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
My Rating: 5 Stars
August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his nineteen-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.
Take Me With You was totally Amazing!! This is one of those rare books you will want to Pre-Order or purchase the day it is released. From the first page, this heartwarming story, grabs you and pulls you in, with a strong hold until the ending, and thereafter in your thoughts. My only issue was having to stop and finish work – and this is the type of book, you want to savor every word, as it will transform your life, as you cry and laugh with characters you learn to love and care for. My favorite part was learning to “Just BE.” We all are guilty of rushing to arrive at our destination and do not enjoy the journey, and the experience of the present time. This engaging story begins with a guy named August (a former alcoholic) divorced, school teacher, still grieving his teenage son Philip who died in a car accident. Now he is taking his motorhome, alone for the summer to visit the national parks, hike, and scatter his son’s ashes for his final goodbye. However, fate steps in when he has problems with his RV and calls a towing company (man named Wes, also an alcoholic raising two small boys). Little does August know, while he is awaiting the repair of his RV, in order to get back on the road, this connection with this man and these two small boys, will change the course of his life forever, as well as the lives and destiny of these two small boys (Seth and Henry). An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go. This poignant novel reaches to the heart and soul with love, redemption, trust, transformation, and rediscovery, as the impact of this profound relationship will forever bond and shape the lives of two boys and a man, which nothing can break. There are so many takeaways from this book, as would be ideal for book clubs or discussions. If you are a hiker, camper, or a nature lover you can appreciate this well researched book. If you are an alcoholic, a friend, parent, or family member involved, this book will give you much insight into the importance of support and mentors. (could see a sequel to followup with characters Seth and Henry, as they are too good to end) I was blown away by this newfound author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, with her incredible attention to detail with places, moods, facial expressions, and rich character development. After I finished the book, discovered she actually hikes, kayaks, and visits national parks, as well as doing her research for Take Me With You, in her own 22’ motorhome. Wow, this made the book even more special, as her passion for nature is reflective throughout the book.
As an avid hiker and cycler, I have traveled most of the places in the book and can definitely appreciate the beauty of mountain areas and waterfalls (even though I have never taken up rock climbing). I have even stayed at a few of the campground cabins along a bike trail, which is quite relaxing—ah, this book was so for me. (I wanted to adopt these boys) and take a road trip. I highly recommend Take Me With You, as an inspiring, compelling, and heartfelt story which will change your life. Catherine Ryan Hyde has been added to my favorite author list, and looking forward to reading more of her work!
About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 35 published and forthcoming books, including JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT, HEAVEN ADJACENT, THE WAKE UP, ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, and DON'T LET ME GO.
An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer and astrophotographer, she has a published book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.
She is co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.
Her novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of '14
LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards. Both BECOMING CHLOE and JUMPSTART THE WORLD were included on the ALA's Rainbow List, and JUMPSTART THE WORLD was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. WHERE WE BELONG won two Rainbow Awards in 2013 and THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS won a Rainbow Award in 2015.
New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER'S PURPLE HEART are now available. Also available is THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD, her first book-length creative nonfiction.
More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.
She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.
For more information and book club questions for most backlist titles, please visit the author at catherineryanhyde.com (Note: The newer titles have book club questions included at the back of the book.) WEBSITE