Monday, September 10, 2012

On Tour and a Giveaway: Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Former Broadway dancer and current agoraphobic Billy Shine has not set foot outside his apartment in almost a decade. He has glimpsed his neighbors—beautiful manicurist Rayleen, lonely old Ms. Hinman, bigoted and angry Mr. Lafferty, kind-hearted Felipe, and 9-year-old Grace and her former addict mother Eileen.

But most of them have never seen Billy. Not until Grace begins to sit outside on the building’s front stoop for hours every day, inches from Billy’s patio. Troubled by this change in the natural order, Billy makes it far enough out onto his porch to ask Grace why she doesn’t sit inside where it’s safe. Her answer: “If I sit inside, then nobody will know I’m in trouble. And then nobody will help me.”

Her answer changes everything. ~~synopsis from Goodreads

There are a couple of giveaways going on that you can enter. CLP Blog Tours is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner. Check out the tour page, linked at the bottom of this post. The Book Bag is also holding a giveaway for a copy of Don't Let Me Go. Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

My thoughts on Don't Let Me Go ~~

I absolutely fell in love with Grace. What a sweet, caring, wise beyond her years, 9 year old. Her mother is an addict so Grace has to become her own caretaker, in a sense. She befriends Billy, the former dancer who is agoraphobic and has not left his apartment in 12 years. She says to him, when he asks her why she sits outside all the time, “If I sit inside, then nobody will know I’m in trouble. And then nobody will help me.” That just breaks my heart. And that is sort of what has happened to Billy, he sits inside all the time and no one knows he needs help.

Grace's apartment house is full of strangers who go out of their way to avoid each other. Some of them have never even talked to one another, they all just live their own separate lives. And no one is really very happy. Grace changes all that, when one by one she gets them to care for her and then to open up their lives to the others who live around them

Billy and Grace form a very special bond that is just beautiful to watch unfold. They really help each other and protect each other. All of the residents pull together to help Grace survive since her mother isn't there for her. Grace is such a precocious little girl and I loved her honesty - she just tells it like it is, even if they don't want to hear it. One example ~ "It's like people who want to feel only happy but not sad," she said. "it never works. You either feel things or you don't. You don't get to pick and choose. At least, I don't think so." 

Ms. Hyde also wrote Pay it Forward, which was made into a movie, a movie that I love. I didn't know this book was written by the same person. Because I knew that when I started the book, I was comparing Don't Let me Go to Pay it Forward. There are some similarities; a precocious youngster with a addictive parent, who befriends others with problems of their own and who tries to make the world a better place. But very soon, I stopped comparing the two and was totally immersed in Grace's world. Did I mention that I loved Grace?

This is a beautiful story about how much better the world can be if we all just take the time to reach out to those around us. It's not a preachy story but a wonderful look at a group of people who come to love each other, faults and all.

Other than this book and the movie, Pay it Forward, I am not familiar with other works by Ms. Hyde. I will definitely be reading more of her books. Thanks for the beautiful story, Catherine Ryan Hyde!

Author Bio:

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 18 published and forthcoming books. Her newest releases are When You Were Older, Don’t Let Me Go, Jumpstart the World, When I Found You and Second Hand Heart. Forthcoming is Walk Me Home (Transworld UK, Spring 2012).

Other newer novels are Becoming Chloe, Love in the Present Tense, The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance, Chasing Windmills The Day I Killed James, and Diary of a Witness. Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List. Jumpstart the World was chosen as a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards, received a third place Rainbow Award for Young Adult/Coming of Age Fiction and a tie for first place in Bisexual/Transgender Fiction. Love in the Present Tense enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the national bestseller list, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year Award at the British Book Awards.

Older works include the story collection Earthquake Weather, and the novels Funerals for Horses, Pay it Forward, Electric God, and Walter’s Purple Heart.

Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The mass market paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. It is still in print, and was rereleased in a trade paperback edition in April of 2010.

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Sun and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

Connect with Catherine!

Buy the Book!

**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Don't Let Me Go before September 24 and sends their receipt to Samantha(at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**

Catherine has 4 backlist titles that will be available for Kindles coming in October! Check out:
Funerals for Horses
Earthquake Weather
Electric God
Walter's Purple Heart

And When You Were Older (available now in the UK) will be will be on sale in the US in November - print and eBook!

 ~ Enter the Rafflecopter below ~


  1. How about linking this in to Books You Loved? Cheers

  2. Thanks for your links in to Books You Loved. Have a good week.

  3. So glad you enjoyed the book, Susan, and loved your review. And I particularly want to thank you for posting all the links to my social networks and my upcoming books, etc. That's a wonderful thing to do for an author. Thanks for being part of the tour!

  4. My pleasure Catherine! I love supporting authors. They feed my book addiction.

  5. I'm really excited for this! Thanks!

  6. Hello!
    I read this book, too, and yes, I LOVED Grace! She is such a sweetie-pie of a little girl WELL beyond her years! I could NOT stop reading this book either! Wow! What this little girl has gone through in her life! Then, all these caring and loving neighbors try to help Grace from being sucked into our Foster Care System. UGH! Thank GOSH for the neighbors! They saved Grace from all kinds of possible horrible things! Foster Care is a nice set-up, a nice thought where people volunteer to take children in and care for them when the parents cannot, BUT, Foster Care is NOT full of wonderful, caring people in which you think it would be. People ARE given monthly checks to help them help to raise the children with, and most of the time these people DO care for the children. Although, we DO have people who take advantage of this System and they do it for the MONEY ONLY. That is HORRIBLE, and this IS what the neighbors were trying to help Grace avoid getting sucked into.
    I have found that ALL of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books are books in which people care for others, do for others, and she even comes up with some of her OWN ideas in which to help, care, share and 'pay it forward' to others in not so great circumstances. I feel this author goes out of her way to help ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE! IT'S WONDERFUL! If anyone would LOVE to read a book that is caring and thoughtful of other people, this author is IT! I got the chance to talk with this author, and SHE IS AS KIND AS SHE HAS HER CHARACTERS BE IN HER BOOKS! Her books are an extension of herself PURELY in a THOUGHTFUL WAY! She is a tremendous woman, and author!
    My goal IS to read ALL of her books! Her writing changes the world! Over and over again!
    Look what "Pay it Forward" has done! WOW! We STILL hear this phrase almost every day! it's a household saying! For an author THAT CHANGES THE WORLD, WOW! What can you say?! SHE IS AMAZING!
    Thanks for participating in a tour for an author who truly HAS CHANGED THE WORLD!
    Laurie Carlson
    laurieisreading at gmail dot com

  7. This book definitely sounds like a winner! Thanks for being a part of the tour!


Thanks SO much for leaving me a comment! Every single one means a whole lot to me!

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