Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Small towns and the wrong kind of relationships are the perfect mix for the right kind of story.
Dr. Lucy has given up her medical practice after extenuating circumstances and now focuses her time on helping the animals in need around her. However, she still occasionally takes in a client in trouble to help pay the bills. She doesn’t ask what kind of trouble they are in and they don’t tell. It also helps her keep to herself. It’s 1959 and no one wants a woman doctor and they also don’t want anyone of color mixing with the whites in town. Calvin and Justin Bell have just arrived and their dark skin makes them stick out and not in a good way. Dr. Lucy meets Pete Solomon when he brings a wounded wolf-dog to her for help. He is twelve years old and has been living with his dad, their relationship is not good. When Lucy shows him even the slightest affection he doesn’t know what to do with it. Pete and Justin quickly become friends and Calvin and Lucy’s own relationship heats up as well. It doesn’t take long for the town to turn against them. Calvin and Justin know it isn’t safe to stay in Texas and head back north. They all stay in touch and hope that one day they will be able to get closer than they are currently allowed.
Even though this story is set back in 1959, with today’s current events, it could easily be set in present day. There is so much hate in the world it keeps making me think that if we don’t learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it. Catherine Ryan Hyde did an outstanding job crafting a story that with characters that are believable with conflicts that made the tension fly off the page. The way she made these characters, especially Pete, come alive really impressed me. It has to be some of the best character crafting I have seen in a very long time. Normally, to me, this wouldn’t be the type of book that kept the pages turning quickly but somehow that is just what happened. He was the best character to connect with but the rest made the story truly great. It dealt with some very tough issues, especially when you think of the time it is set in. But even today we are dealing with such issues of hate that the story will be very relevant and can make an impact with readers. It is not a story for an immature audience, but will be great for its intended readers.