Say Goodbye for Now
Publisher: Lake Union
Publication Date: 12/13/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars + Top Books of 2016 In 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.
A special thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Master storyteller, Catherine Ryan Hyde returns following Leaving Blythe River (2016) with another heartfelt powerful message with SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW. —With highly charged topics, from untraditional families; love, loss, racial tension, animals, and the chance meetings of four unique souls drawn together by an unbreakable bond. Lives which will be enriched by one another. Top 50 Books of 2016! Interweaving a story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in the South 1950s-60s Texas, with an unlikely friendship. From heartbreak to healing. The broken pieces. Finding deep compassion for the flaws that make us human. Patience, love, and redemption. An unforgettable journey with characters you will not soon forget! They will touch you and continue to pull on your heartstrings. When love plays a part in letting go; relationships, animals, and friendships. When saying, "Goodbye For Now" may not be forever. Until we meet again. Broken out in three parts from 1959 to 1967, a reminder of the changing laws of our country; however, it may not always change the hearts and minds of the people. From civil rights, segregation, a divide, to the overturning of bans on interracial marriage. The patience to wait, while protecting those we love. Timing. Texas 1959 Dr. Lucy (Lucille Armstrong) is a regular doctor, not a veterinarian, yet she takes in animals and lost souls. She lives in a remote area, a southern small town. Some may think she is eccentric and cold-hearted. She is strong and outspoken. She lives in a time when there were not very many women doctors. She likes the solitude and prefers the company of animals versus humans. She has her own painful past. She went to medical school and her life did not go as planned. Now she prefers to shut herself off from others. Many of Lucy’s patients never leave, once they cross through her door. She has sixteen dogs, eleven horses, a pig, and an owl. Soon she will take in yet another animal, and three strangers under her wing while trying to keep the law away from her front door. Pete Solomon, age twelve, liked dogs provided they were healthy and alive. However, when he sees a wounded large dog along the highway, he had to help. Of course, his friend Jack is more interested in fishing than a helpless stray dog. This dog is a cross between a wolf and a dog. The dog seemed to listen and his life depended on Pete. Without Jack’s help, Pete gets the dog in a wagon and earns its trust, to a “so called” vet. They are not nice and inform they do not treat wild animals. However, someone gives him a tip. There is a Dr. Lucy which may help. After all, everything and everyone wants to live. It is called "survival." Little does Pete, his soon to be loyal friend Prince (dog) and Dr. Lucy know --how they will become connected for years to come. Pete also has his own pain, too much for a boy of his age to bear. An abusive father. No mother. Dr. Lucy is like no one he has ever met. He wishes he could remain with her, the animals and his new wolf-dog friend, Prince, while he heals. He never wants to leave. (he is an old soul). He also meets another boy his age, Justin Bell (African American) and they become instant friends. Justine has a great heart and he likes this new friend and ditches his old selfish friend, Jack. However, soon Justine and Pete learn the world of grownups are not so nice. People do not like this newfound friendship. Shortly, thereafter Pete’s dad discovers this friendship and beats him for being gone (while looking after the stray dog at Dr. Lucy’s house—he keeps a secret), and second, for walking in public with his new friend, Justine down the highway. Hurt, and down on his luck, Pete decides to return to Dr. Lucy’s house. He cannot go on like this. He has to keep his visits a secret as well as his friendship with Justine. On his way, he discovers Justin badly beaten on the side of the road. He immediately goes to his rescue. Justine says he cannot go to the hospital or police. He has been warned. He has no one to turn to but Dr. Lucy. She immediately takes both boys under her wing, no questions asked. A woman who thought she liked living alone, cut off from the world. She is their protector, a rescuer; even when she thought there was no feeling left in her. When she calls the dad, Calvin to let him know of his son’s issues, she soon discovers he is also a caring soul and is drawn to his kindness for his son. Calvin’s wife died years earlier and he raises his son with love, and compassion; unlike Pete’s dad. Pete sees this bond between father and son, and wonders why his life is so different. Yet despite the couple's strong attraction, the town and those around them (outside of Lucy, Calvin, Justine, and Pete), are unkind. From racial tension and injustice. The boys learn the adult world is quite cruel and full of hatred. Soon there is more violence and Dr. Lucy once again is there to help. The couple soon falls in love; however, they know they cannot have a future or act upon their feelings until the laws change. After all, this is Texas in 1959. Patience. In addition, Pete’s father and the people in the town are violently against interracial friendship and relationships. Pete is around some great new role models; however, he still has to face his own father. Why should a child’s life be so difficult? He has the weight of the world on his shoulders. With the special love of strangers, Pete now has a family, as well as the others. Each has hope. Strong bonds are formed. Both human and animals. However, each one may have to say "goodbye for now" in hopes they will meet again. Things are not always so simple and straightforward. Great themes and parallels here. Between a loyal dog named Prince and a woman who may find a soft place in her heart, and just maybe a shot a love and motherhood once again. Plus a boy who finds there can be love somewhere beneath all the hatred- a new family, and new friends. Four people who bond and learn many life lessons. This unlikely group may just help Dr. Lucy find her own way. A powerful, moving novel of family loss and redemption. Inspiring! What an emotional and beautifully written story. A huge Hyde fan, each of her books bring characters together in life’s messy circumstances. The courage of Pete and unwavering love of Dr. Lucy, a woman who has isolated herself, hiding from society finds herself changing, in positive ways. Calvin, a man of wisdom and patience, and a role model for his son Justin. Hyde illuminates racial tensions, which still exist in our country today, while at the same time a perfect example of how small acts of faith can make big inroads to acceptance. A mix of love story and coming-of-age. These four "gave" without expecting anything in return. Each had been disappointed by the world. Losses can be restored. "Things can turn out, long after you had accepted they never would." When you are willing to do what’s best for others. Putting our own feelings aside. Enjoyed the tie in, with the Supreme Court ruling Loving vs. Virginia Case. A timely story even in today’s world of racial injustice, evil, and violence. Plus our world of "need it now." Rushing, immediate gratification. We all need a lesson in patience and waiting. (Myself included). Just finished Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline A great example of waiting! In SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, there is unwavering love, kindness, faith, and caring. Sometimes things or people we meet, may not be entirely random nor accidental encounters. Life knows exactly what it is doing. People are put in our lives for a reason and purpose, when our own family and friends may let us down. Strangers become an integral part of our lives and hearts while teaching us valuable lessons. . When "Goodbye For Now" is not forever. A true journey of the heart. A must read! For fans of Bette Lee Crosby, Diane Chamberlain, Heather Gudenkauf, Fredrik Backman, Jodi Picoult, and David Johnson. No one tells a powerful moving story like Catherine Ryan Hyde. I loved Pete! Ideal for book clubs and further reading discussions (guide included).
About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty published and forthcoming books. Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries.
Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize.
Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.
Ryan Hyde is also founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. 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. Read More