Friday, June 13, 2014

#REVIEW - Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

August Shroeder is 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.

My Take:
Another "knocked-it-out-of-the-ballpark" novel again! Written by the AMAZING by best selling author, Catherine Ryan Hyde! You probably know her best from her book (and movie), "Pay It Forward", a household phrase for doing good for others! That, she has done again! BRAVO! +Catherine Ryan Hyde ! BRAVO! She truly understands and knows the true spirit of humanity! She nails it every time in the countless novels she has written. There is no romance in this book, so if you're looking for that you'll have to find another book, but if you are looking for love, you've hit the nail on the head in this one. Love between strangers.
In this story, we have a truly burned-out teacher, August, who is out of school from teaching,  for the summer. Maybe a better way to describe August would be to say in addition to being burned-out as a teacher, perhaps he is also 'still grieving' for his own young son who was killed in an automobile accident several years ago, and for his wife who suddenly left him. In tragedies such as these, it is often hard on a couple, and sometimes they split like these two did. When it rains, it pours, and this poor man has had a downpour. Now, this summer his one single goal is to go to Yosemite Park in his RV, (he often refers to it as his rig) and his dog, Woody, to release some of his son's ashes there in the park in certain areas as he had promised his son they would be going there together that summer. Unfortunately, that summer never came for that family, but now August was on his way with the ashes at least, to spread them out in several places in Yosemite.
Easier said than done because now his 'rig', as he refers to it, breaks down along the way. He has no choice but to stop and get it fixed, so he does. While his rig is being fixed, he the mechanic befriends August, he seems to be getting friendly towards him. Once he is ready to hit the road again, the mechanic, Wes, asks August a question. He has to do jail time for three months, over the summer. Would August mind taking his two sons with him while he serves his time? You can imagine how August feels. He is full of questions and is in disbelief that this mechanic, a stranger really, is asking him to take his two children on his vacation with him while he serves time in jail? This guy hardly knows him! August questions Wes some more. It's up to August to decide whether or not to do this. August agrees.
Now August has two young boys to care for. Henry, 7, and Seth, 12. Off they go heading towards Yosemite. August is going to make this the best summer vacation for these boys possible, however, it takes a while for the boys to warm up to him, and Henry won't even talk to anyone. He only  communicates with his brother, but that's all. Somehow something comes up when Seth says something about his Dad having to be in jail for six months, not just three. August is going out of his mind imagining . They have the phone number to the jail, they call Wes, but August can't ever get a clear answer out of him.
August feels the need to go to a meeting one night. The boys don't understand. Is this a work meeting, and how would his work know where he was? They had a ton of questions for him. Finally August fesses up to the boys that he goes to AA meetings. No, not AAA, that's auto insurance. August goes to AA meetings - Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. So starts August's story. August figures out Wes is an alcoholic and now Seth wants to go to meetings with August, Open meetings because he realizes just how much of an alcoholic his father really is, that is until he can get to Alanon meetings. Would Wes let him go?
Everything has spiraled. One things leads to another, but the one constant thing is August falls in love with these boys, or is it the other way around? Do the boys fall in love with August? It doesn't matter who it is who falls in love with who, it just happens.
Years later, the boys, now ages 15 and 20, come to take August out on a trip in the same RV, without their father's (Wes') knowledge, and it turns out to be quite a trip! Augusts' health has taken a turn for the worse, but the boys don't care, they help August, and he was in heaven that the boys did this for him in reciprocation! The drama picks back up again after all these years once Wes finds out the boys took August on this trip that just the boys were supposed to be on. They are good boys, with kind, gentle, loving hearts. The one who has no heart is the one with all of the problems, or causes all of the problems. Wes. Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. Look at the problems it can cause, or, solutions to the problems such as in this story.
This is only a very small look into this story, but it is one that will stay with you forever. Don't miss this one!
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it and giving my own honest opinion no matter whether it is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here:, The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition  Regulation.

You can pre-order this book for it's release on July 22nd, 2014. The information the publisher provided to me was this was set for release on June 10th, 2014, but I see that date has changed. Or, add it to your Wish List! Really, this is a great one you don't want to miss!

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