I enjoyed the simplicity of a small town while reading with my feet up in my own backyard during my travels on the BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge. Today’s book review is the sixth book out of eighteen I’ll be reading this summer while on the reading tour.
Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
About Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Virginia has always wanted the chance at a relationship with Aaron, a widower with a young son. She finally gets the opportunity, but their date is cut short when tragedy strikes, ending their hopes of a relationship. Years later, Virginia is engaged, but when she discovers that her fiancé intentionally let her dog loose, she calls off the wedding. She finds her dog with a shy young man, whom Virginia soon realizes is connected to her past in ways that she could never have imagined.
My Book Review
A tense, tragic scene begins on page 37, builds in noise and intensity, not letting up until page 43. I’m pretty sure I held my breath during all six pages and when it was over, I felt as if I’d returned to the pages of Cold Sassy Tree, a novel by Olive Ann Burns that I loved and read almost twenty years ago.
This second inciting incident (I’m counting the first inciting incident as Virginia meeting Aaron and Buddy) changes the fate of the characters for the rest of the story and it was my dogged determination to figure out what happened to everyone that kept me reading. That, and the charm of the golden retriever/German shepherd mix at the center of the story named Worthy.
I love dogs.
Worthy is the thread woven throughout the fabric of the novel but the story belongs to a woman named Virginia and a young man named Jody. Alternating chapters tell their stories as a shared past is revealed and the two deal with new information.
I enjoyed this quiet novel. Enjoyed the moments when Worthy was on the page, enjoyed the subtle, unfolding resolutions that made this a satisfying read. It was a smooth, easy read with great balance in the chapters – balance in setting, balance in dialogue, balance in plot and character development; the kind of read that comes from reading an accomplished writer with twenty-seven novels under her name thus far. Catherine Ryan Hyde can sure craft a scene, a chapter, a novel. Smooth writing, smooth reading. Perfect for a summer afternoon in my backyard while my own new puppy ran about in the grass. I sure am loving this BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge.
Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the bestselling author of twenty-seven published and forthcoming books. Some of her recent books include The Language of Hoofbeats, Take Me with You, Where We Belong, and Don’t Let Me Go. Her short stories have been published in Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun. She has received numerous awards, including the Rainbow Award and the British Book Award. Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture and translated into twenty-three languages. Hyde is the founder of the Pay It Forward Foundation
Find out how it all began: READ 5th Annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and My Travels Have Begun!
1. The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen
2. The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek
3. Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
4. The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall
5 . Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
6. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
7. Pieces by Maria Kostaki
8. Summer Secrets by Jane Green
9. It’s You by Jane Porter
10. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
11. Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips
12. The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop
13. The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
14. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
15. Anchored by Brigitte Quinn
16. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly
17. A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
18. Star Craving Mad by Elise Miller
Thank you, BookSparks!