An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
You can always expect several things from Catherine Ryan Hyde. There is always an exciting adventure—so pack your bags and enjoy the journey; which is anything but ordinary.
As always, her characters cross paths with strangers, face challenges, and many obstacles; from nature, animals, and some wise lessons to be learned along the way.LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER draws you in from the vivid front cover setting, to the final page; Part coming-of-age, literary, domestic suspense, and a heart and soul exploration of ordinary flawed people, a family amidst extraordinary circumstances.
Ethan, age seventeen is small for his age, and not cool. He feels inadequate around his father, mother, and his school mates. He does not fit in. No self-confidence. He is infatuated with his father’s secretary, Jennifer.
Growing up with two parents -athletes, type A's---and Ethan, not so much. He feels inferior and a let down, loser. He and his mom are on their way to the airport for a hiking trip to Peru, and at the last minute something goes wrong, and they have to return home. Surprised, and faced with the ultimate betrayal, what they see changes the course of their lives.
Their trip is cancelled, his mom and dad are separating. Next his mom receives a call- she has to leave town and take care of her ailing mother and father (his grandparents). He is not able to go due to the limited facility, and finds himself on his way from the city of Manhattan to the wilderness. He mom informs him he has to move in with his father. The last place he wants to be.
An A-frame remote mountain cabin in Wyoming –in the middle of nowhere with real grizzly killer bears and a man he has nothing in common with—a man who is only concerned about his looks, his body, and himself. Plus he has to go to school here, and a summer around a self-centered father. Now a new set of complications.
With his dog, his only friend- he receives the news about bears—never to be without bear spray from the park ranger. He finally makes it through the miserable school year and this godforsaken place, when his dad leaves one morning for a run, and never returns (plus he has taken the bear spray). Even though he does not like his father, Noah--he feels he has to find him.
After calling the cops --the search party cannot waste any more money coming up empty handed, and finding out the father withdrew money the days before---Everyone thinks his dad just left. His mom is still dealing with his grandparents and he is on his own in the middle of the wilderness.
With the tenacious and unwavering courage of Ethan, in search for his dad, and the help of three other eccentric characters and some animals, he learns he is more courageous than he thought. From bravery, forgiveness, strength, and lots of life’s lessons- an unforgettable story!
A nature lover, an active hiker and cycler, always concerned about having an accident and being stuck out alone on a remote trail alone (however, love the solace). Readers will fall in love with Ethan – the underdog—a journey of self-discovery and the heartwarming strangers he meets along the way…Everyone has a lesson to be learned.
With the help of three colorful locals—a fearless seventy-year-old widow, a pack guide, a stubborn mule, and a former actor with limited outdoor skills—he heads into the wild.
Ironically, immediately after reading, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, watched an older movie on Amazon Prime An Unfinished Life (2005) Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, and Morgan Freeman. I had to laugh, an extension of the book---- Wyoming, bears, and a great family saga with some valuable life lessons of forgiveness. Very fitting.
Another winner by Hyde!