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 part of the BookSparks group, I was fortunate to be able to join the Blog Tour for Say Goodbye For Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The basic theme explored in this book is good versus evil. The setting of Say Goodbye For Now is a small town in Texas in 1959 and segregation is the normal at that time; interracial marriage is forbidden.
Dr Lucy Armstrong is a medical doctor who cares for injured and abandoned animals and the occasional criminal to help pay for the animals she saves. She’s a prickly sort of person who prefers the company of animals to people. Pete Solomon is 12-year old boy on his way to go fishing when he finds a wounded wolf-dog on the side of the road. Pete eventually ends up on Dr. Lucy’s doorstep seeking treatment for the poor animal. On his way to Dr. Lucy’s house, Pete befriends an African-American boy named Justin Bell. Pete’s visit to Dr. Lucy and his friendship with Justin set off a chain of events that changes all of their lives forever.
Pete’s father, Calvin forbids him to be friends with Justin, but he cannot bring himself to tun his back on the boy. Justin is attacked and then Justin’s father is arrested causing the young men to become even closer. When Pete’s father is released, they move out of town but Pete and the doctor remain in contact. Pete’s dad throws him out and he goes to live with the doctor and against all odds they become a family.
This is a great coming of age story and about how love can overcome prejudice off all kinds. Pete was a very likeable character. He has a way about himself that presents as honest and straightforward. I loved how he was able to survive growing up with a father who was so brutal too. Definitely an “overcomer”.
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 Worldwere 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, theVirginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologiesSanta 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.
Be sure to connect with Catherine Ryan Hyde:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSparks without cost in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. Thanks BookSparks!