Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 6/2/2015
My Rating: 3 Stars
They might’ve been a family.
Virginia finally had the chance to explore a relationship with Aaron when he asked her on a date. She had been waiting, hoping that the widower and his young son, Buddy, would welcome her into their lives. But a terrible tragedy strikes on the night of their first kiss, crushing their hopes for a future together.
Nineteen years later, Virginia is engaged, though she has not forgotten Aaron or Buddy. When her dog goes missing and it comes to light that her fiancé set him loose, a distraught Virginia breaks off the engagement and is alone once again. A shy young man has found the missing pet, and although he’s bonded with the animal, he answers his conscience and returns the dog. Before long, Virginia and the young man discover a connection from their pasts that will help them let go of painful memories and change their lives forever
A special thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nice cover. Catherine Ryan Hyde’s WORTHY is a lighthearted, simple yet painful story of a sensitive mentally challenged little boy, and a lonely adult woman, both connected by their love of one lovable dog--a past, a loss, a tragedy, and memories which forever changes the course of their lives. Aaron is a raising a four year old son, Buddy with fears of everything. He has phobias, and does not interact well on a social level. He loves his dog named Shelia and does not do well with bridges. Virginia works at a nearby diner and has fallen for Aaron, and his little boy. She has her heart set on future dates with this man, a life, and can see herself being a stepmom to little Buddy. One night when leaving the diner, a tragedy occurs and the sweet family Virginia had planned comes to an end, as quickly as it began. When she tries reaching out to the boy, his grandparents have come to take him away and she has no way to find him. The grandparents are not very caring people and everything Buddy has known is gone. Heartbroken, Virginia gets on with her life, buys the diner with her friend, Fern and later at age fifty-seven settles for a loser guy and is engaged to marry. This guy is jealous of her dog, and takes the dog off to the woods to get rid of him while she is at work. Of course she is frantic and searches everywhere for her dog. In the meantime, Aaron moves to Florida with his grandparents and they still have the cabin in the same town where the tragedy occurred. Aaron has had a rough childhood and now finds himself taking care of his elderly grandfather with dementia. Aaron is mentally challenged even at age twenty, with the mind of a child. Now he is left in a grownup world with big responsibilities when some mean man lets a dog off, in front of his house in the cold of winter to die. He will rescue this dog and make it his own. He will name it Worthy and no one will take it away from him. However, fate steps in and Virginia and Aaron connect again. With the shared love a one dog, may be just what the doctor ordered, for both these lost souls. An avid fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde for years, and a lover of Golden Retrievers (this dog was a mix); however, felt WORTHY was lacking in substance, and seemed a little juvenile and disconnected, more like a children’s book, than an adult fiction. May appeal to some readers; however, I need a little something more to stimulate my literary cravings with depth; a little too elementary, for my taste.