Release date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Historical Fiction
On 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.
As much as I adore my creepy and intense thrillers and mysteries, over the Christmas holiday I wanted to snuggle up with a book that didn’t have a serial killer as a main character. I won a copy of Say Goodbye For Now from the author and was so exited as I’ve had several of her books in my TBR and hadn’t gotten around to them before now. I’m kicking myself now that I waited this long to read one of Ryan Hyde’s novels and I’m vowing here and now to read some of her other work in the new year. This book totally hit the spot and was just the type of feel good read that I was craving.
It’s 1959 in small town Texas and though Lucy and Pete have both lived there for years, they haven’t crossed paths before. Lucy is a doctor who quit practicing after many people had objections to being treated by a woman. She’s distant and isolated, both physically and emotionally and surrounds herself with stray animals no one else wants. Pete is the sweetest kid and when he finds a dog hurt in the side of the highway he takes it to Dr. Lucy for help. Justin and Calvin are father and son and new to town and the young boys become fast friends. These four have no idea how their chance encounters will shape and define their lives in the future, but they all have lessons to learn and things to teach each other.
Ryan Hyde sure knows how to write a page turner, I couldn’t wait to see how this story would turn out. She wove a story that was both beautifully tender and brimming with heavy issues, but she managed to convey a strong message without leaving me feeling like I had read something emotionally draining. There is Lucy who is dealing with the loss of her son and husband as well as sexism, Pete who is an abused child, and Justin and Calvin who are African American in the fifties, enough said there. As these four struggle with their own issues, they manage to find solace in each other and it was a truly gorgeous thing to witness.
This was an effortless read, the chapters alternate between Dr. Lucy’s point of view and Pete’s. The bulk of the story is told within the first few months the four meet, then the last half spans the course of eight years. I feel in love with all four of them, but Pete especially left a mark on my heart, he is a special kid who is wise beyond his years. This is begging to be picked for a book club read, there is so much to discuss and explore. Also, if you’re an animal lover there are some really great moments here with all kinds of creatures.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Huge and heartfelt thanks to the author for my copy.