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Catherine Ryan Hyde has written a delightful book with a perfect blend of characters, setting and story.



Lucas Painter is fourteen years old and overwhelmed with responsibility. It’s 1969 and his brother, Roy is fighting in Vietnam, his parents are endlessly fighting, and his best friend Connor is struggling with depression. Lucas is trying desperately to help all of them. Lucas has turned to running to take his mind off his troubles. On a run in the woods near his house, he finds an isolated cabin, two large dogs and Zoe Dinsmore. Zoe, a prickly and reclusive fifty-five year old woman with a tragic past, may be just the friend that Lucas, Connor and Roy need.

“When somebody holds a view that seems to make no sense, know that it makes sense to them, but for reasons you don’t know anything about yet.”


STAY is an endearing and engrossing coming of age story. Lucas is trying hard to understand the world around him. He wants everyone to stay put, but first he must learn that he is not in control of everyone else’s life. You will fall in love with Lucas, who is trying so hard to keep everyone happy. My favorite thing about the book was the beautifully descriptive writing.

The story is impressively direct and tackles some serious issues such as drug addiction, attempted suicide, and mental illness. But the book is really about friendship, kindness forgiveness and redemption.

STAY is my first CATHERINE RYAN HYDE book and I was delighted with the writing, the characters and most of all, the story. My favorite character was Zoe Dinsmore, when you peeled away her prickly layers she was wise, astute and compassionate. This was definitely a book I did not want to end. I loved this book so much I have just started listening to Have a You Seen Luis Velez? Which was published May 21, 2019. Watch for that review coming soon too!

“People need help with perspective sometimes. If they’re all alone in their own head, they can lose perspective. Sometimes you need to use somebody else like a mirror. Let them reflect back to you the way the world really is.”

Publisher Lake Union

Published December 3, 2019

Narrated Nick Podehl

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