Say Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde
ISBN: 9781503939448 (paperback)
ASIN: B01DNJMO76 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
“Catherine Ryan Hyde delivers once again with this feel-good story guaranteed to be a hit…” — Redbook
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.
Dr. Lucy Armstrong is a divorcee living in rural Texas. She spends most of her time alone taking care of abandoned, stray, and wounded animals. In an effort to earn extra money to feed and supply these animals she often provides after-hours medical care to people that can’t or won’t go to the local hospital. Dr. Lucy is a loner but doesn’t consider herself to be lonely. All that changes when Pete Solomon brings a stray wolf-dog hybrid to her home for treatment and then brings in a young black boy, Justin Bell, in for emergency treatment after a brutal beating. Dr. Lucy finds herself quickly befriended by not only Pete but by Justin and Justin’s father, Calvin. After giving Calvin a ride home, Dr. Lucy and Calvin find themselves in a strange and tenuous situation. There are laws on the books against miscegenation or racial mixing and it is beyond unseemly for a White woman to be seen in public, or even in private, with a black man. Dr. Lucy must also contend with the fact that Pete is being abused at home and only has her and Justin to turn to for help, emotional support, and friendship. How did this self-professed loner become a temporary guardian to a black boy, a surrogate mother to a young white boy, and a confidante and would-be lover to a black man in 1959 Texas?
I plowed through Say Goodbye for Now, finding it to be an incredibly easy, fast-paced and enjoyable read. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of the Loving case into the story along with the developing long-distance relationship between Lucy and Calvin. Although Say Goodbye for Now takes place in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the vast majority of the story is still topical today. Ms. Hyde introduces the reader to racism, racial profiling, bigotry, systemic government abuse related to racial profiling, child abuse, interracial relationships, and more. Say Goodbye for Now has been called a “feel-good story” but it is so much more, it is about self-discovery, self-awakening, and the notion that family is much more than just biology and DNA. I enjoyed this book so much I promptly purchased a copy to give to my mother with the warning that she might cry while reading it (she’s 82 and needs trigger warnings before she’ll read a book). If you enjoy reading stories with a message or hopeful-ever-after stories, then I strongly recommend you grab a copy of Say Goodbye for Now to read.
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