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Catherine Ryan Hyde – Leaving Blythe River: A Novel

Posted in Book reviews, and Fiction

“YES YES YES!” What am I talking about? You will find out once you finish Leaving Blythe River: A Novel, because you will be probably saying the same. This novel is stunning and I can place among the best books I’ve read this year. It has everything: action, drama, wisdom and even small love story. Actually, its awesomeness shouldn’t surprise me that much. Do you know the movie Pay It Forward? Guess on whose book was this movie based on! Right, it was based on a novel of Catherine Ryan Hyde. I mean, are you still interested in reading my opinion why you should buy this book, or are you buying it straight away? (Ha ha ha)

Again did Catherine Ryan Hyde succeed with creating an authentic story about disintegration of a family, life dramas and their impact on the life of a man. As many authors before, she shows how small moments in our lives can lead to the unexpected consequences. In her case it is Ethan Underwood, a young boy from Manhattan, who is suddenly moving far away from his comfort zone of the metropolis into the unknown area of Blythe River National Wilderness. And he’s moving in with someone he wants to be least with, but things are getting much more complicated than that.

There are some pros with living in a wilderness – we can reconnect with nature, relax, see and smell things impossible to find in a city. But as much as it may look like a cartoon fairy tale, the truth is that there are more wild bears then Yogi bears running around, and they are not the only possible danger waiting behind a tree. If you have also read Of Moose and Men: Lost and Found in Alaska, maybe you have a picture of what I can talk about. Ethan is about to discover a lot about himself and is forced to “grow up” in a short period of time. As in a real life, there are situations which are painful but thanks to them we are in the end moving forward, and so does he.

I love the fact that Catherine didn’t slip into the sentimental ending which would probably ruin my opinion little bit. Also, she didn’t end up the storyline in a hurry which was highly appreciated. There are stories you are reading when you want to know more about next development of the situation and suddenly – the last page. Not here, my friends, luckily not this time. Another plus point was for the decision on adding a man’s best friend into the story line. As a dog owner, I have a weak spot for such things, what more can I say? (If you are a horse fan, there is something for you too)

Although there are some stereotypes going on, I gladly forgive that this time because all characters are incredibly authentic. Actually, I bet all of us know such types. Maybe we are one of them?

Leaving Blythe River: A Novel is about to being published and I already wonder if it will make it to a movie – I sincerely hope so! It is obvious Catherine put her beloved activites together (love for hiking, animals and nature in general) and it’s more than worth it. If you feel like reading a book within one day, pick up this one. I can almost guarantee you that even if you wouldn’t have time to do it, you will find some, even if it would mean go to the work/school sleepy next day.

Note: I received this book in NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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