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(10 customer reviews)


by Catherine Ryan Hyde 


An unforgettable novel about the power of friendship and kindness by the New York Times bestselling author of Pay It Forward.

In the summer of 1969, fourteen-year-old Lucas Painter carries a huge weight on his shoulders. His brother is fighting in Vietnam. His embattled parents are locked in a never-ending war. And his best friend, Connor, is struggling with his own family issues.


About this book

292 Pages
5 - 6 Hours to read


An unforgettable novel about the power of friendship and kindness by the New York Times bestselling author of Pay It Forward.

In the summer of 1969, fourteen-year-old Lucas Painter carries a huge weight on his shoulders. His brother is fighting in Vietnam. His embattled parents are locked in a never-ending war. And his best friend, Connor, is struggling with his own family issues.

To find relief from the chaos, Lucas takes long, meandering walks, and one day he veers into the woods. There he discovers an isolated cabin and two huge dogs. Frightened, he runs. And the dogs run with him. Lucas finds unusual peace in running with the dogs, and eventually, he meets their owner, Zoe Dinsmore.

Closed off and haunted by a tragic past, Zoe has given up. She doesn’t want to be saved. She wants out. But Lucas doesn’t want her to go, and he sees an opportunity to bring more than one friend back into the light.

It’s either the best or worst idea he’s ever had, but Lucas isn’t giving up on Zoe or Connor.

Their unexpected connection might be the saving grace that Zoe thought she’d lost, that Connor needs, and that Lucas has been running toward.


Additional information


Hardcover, Paperback

10 reviews for Stay

  1. Nancy Vincent Zinke

    (I am fortunate to have received an ARC of this book.)Lucas is a very lonely boy in his mid-teens. He narrates this story as an older adult, and we read his narrations from the past to the present and back again, until the two timelines merge. It’s a very effective dance to keep the reader curious and invested to see what what will happen and how.His story begins by wanting to escape from a difficult home life. We find out his parents’ marriage is troubled, his brother is in Vietnam, his best friend is extremely depressed, and his only escape is running with two dogs in the woods—dogs which don’t even belong to him. The story of how he meets the dogs’ owner and his relationship with her, an older woman named Zoe, starts us on our journey with Lucas.The book is unflinching in its facing squarely the themes of addiction, suicide, loneliness, the overt and hidden consequences of war. And the synchronicity of seemingly inconsequential decisions and actions which change lives for generations.I appreciate the author’s ability to keep it real: no-one is completely bad or completely good; we never know the whole story; all are capable of redemption but never perfection. And her ability to keep us surprised even until the very end.This book will appeal to a young-adult reader and to any age adult. I highly recommend it!

  2. Rebecca L. Schultz

    You can’t go wrong with a Catherine Ryan Hyde story. The stories she writes are realistic, reflective, and conscientious. Identification with the feelings of a character is spot on and brings you into the story, where you can reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly. The stories are often extreme situations…but that is real life, folks! And sometimes people do not have the skills, knowledge, and mindset to work through a situation, but empathy eventually comes into play and the person is taught what they need to survive. I am an educator in our alternative schools and I have experienced many situations in my 24 years. Catherine Ryan Hyde’s stories mirror the lives of some of my students…they are situations I know nothing about, but it doesn’t stop me from diving in to figure out how to support a student or family.

  3. Jan Crossen

    I was privileged to read an ARC of this book. Once again, Catherine Ryan Hyde delivers an excellent story with depth and honesty. Catherine creates interesting characters and a rich supporting cast of people and animals. Her main characters are vulnerable and kind; people with loyalty and integrity. Through these folks we witness dysfunctional relationships, unfair judgments, the pain of depression, separation, a fear of intimacy, and struggles with morality and addiction. We also feel the blessings of forgiveness, recovery, healing, and love. After all, “we’re all just doing our best…” Put this book in your to be read pile, it’s full of wisdom and hope.

  4. pearl lou

    I was charged for this item that is a Kindle unlimited! This happens every time it is pre- ordered. Beware!

  5. TeacherSarah

    I was thrilled to see that Me Hyde had written another book. I had a hard time putting the book down, each turn of the page made me want to read more. The story shares different perspectives on mental health and the issues associated with going to war ; the Vietnam conflict in particular. The treatment of those with mental health issues, suicide, drug and alcohol addiction…the stigmas people faced at that time. A reminder that mental health issues have been around for a long time and we still have not moved beyond trying to avoid the issue of getting beyond attaching stigma to it. Thank you Catherine Ryan Hyde for this insightful story.

  6. E. Piper

    I love Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books and have enjoyed every one that I have read. This one was especially poignant as it was written by Lucas the adult as he looks back on his life as a child and the Viet Nam war era. That was the time of my own youth and I remember it well. The characters are all so real, warts and all, and the author brings them all to us, not for judgment, but to know and perhaps to empathize with. I was especially struck by how the life of one person, Lucas, affected and touched the lives of so many others. I sincerely believe this and we never know how we and our decisions and behavior, touch and affect the lives of people around us.A beautifully told story by a truly talented author.

  7. Ceekay9

    Catherine Ryan Hyde never disappoints. This book is wonderful, thought provoking, inspiring, and a wonderful read. I highly recommend this book.

  8. Sheila R

    Again Catherine Ryan Hyde bats 1,000 with another wonderful book! I was a young adult during the time of this book and remember the attitude well. I loved the characters. You can definitely see into their soul! I love how CRH takes unlikely characters and sees to it that they become friends. I wish I could give this book more stars!

  9. Susan

    I thought this story to be very well-written and spoke to the life and times of small towns, as well as people and their communities everywhere. The characters are well-developed, interesting, real and ring true.The story is narrated by the main character, a young teenage boy whose home life is full of conflict, since his parents argue constantly, mostly forgetting his needy presence. The boy’s best friend also lives an isolating life, since the adults in his house are emotionally remote, thus inflicting on the son as sense of hopelessness.One day, the narrator chances to meet a woman and her two massive dogs who hole up in a cabin, deep in the woods, on the edge of town. He’s been warned to steer clear of those woods, as well as the inhabitant of the cabin, who seems to have turned the whole town against her. Eventually both boys and the hermit lady befriend each other. Over time, they all effect deep, but cleansing, changes in one other.The tale ends in the narrators later, adult life. And, once again, we learn that all is connected and we can all help one another, no matter the gender, age, position in society, and life goals. This novel would truly be a relevant tale for teenage readers who also grapple with the aches and pains of growing up. In the end, we all end up somewhere but it’s who we take along on our journeys is what matters most.

  10. Fiona

    This is one of the best books I have read that conveys how difficult it is to have your voice heard in a world of adults. As a teenager, the main character Lucas is faced with feelings and responsibilities that he tries to make sense of without any guidance from his parents. As his parents argue constantly, Lucas seeks solace in running. After meeting two dogs who become his running buddies, Lucas’ life is irrevocably changed when he saves their owner from suicide. The story brings in to focus how adults often overlook the insightfulness of children and their ability to help and be helped in unexpected ways. This is a story of loss, of hope, of love, of forgiveness and most importantly, survival in a World that sometimes aligns to prevent that very thing. I know my review doesn’t do the book justice but it is a very good read!

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