Everybody is a good person and a bad person at the same time. The only real variation is in the balance. How much good to how much bad. When a person has a bigger good side, we call him a good person. But it’s never absolute. ~August Shroeder (in Catherine Ryan Hyde’s book Take Me With You)
Only a few days delayed on posting August’s Books & Broads Book Club book choice. I will get back on track with September’s book, I promise, Dear Bloggites.
August’s book club choice was Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Once again the author of Pay It Forward, hit a homerun from the ball park. Take Me With You is about a burned out school teacher name August Shroeder. Every summer, August would travel with his son, Phillip, except this summer.
After losing his son, Phillip, August stopped drinking all together and is now on the recovery path from his alcoholic days. On this summer trip, August planned on going to Yellowstone to spread the ashes of his son. At the beginning of this rough trip, the RV breaks down and he is introduced to Wes and his two boys, Seth and Henry. Wes has a strange request for August. He asks August to take his two boys with him on his trip because Wes will be going to jail for the summer and the boys have nowhere else to go.
This is just the beginning of the storyline in this novel. As you can figure out, the boys join August on his trip and all three of their lives are changed forever. During the journey, August finds out Wes is an alcoholic and this trip to jail is not his first according to his sons. As August learns from the boys, they learn from him and a lifelong relationship is born.
Catherine Ryan Hyde did a wonderful job at creating characters with such depth in this novel. Each character has their own uniqueness about them that endears them to the readers. During the journey, the author did a good job explaining the different things the kids experienced and saw through the main character, August. The reader is able to learn something without being overwhelmed or distracted from the storyline.
While this book touches on alcoholism and AA Meetings, the focus is not on the disease but on the relationships being built from the experiences each character has by living with alcoholism in their lives. At times, the book seemed to drag but for the majority of the read, the storyline was in constant motion.
The story is written in the third person (which I love) and is a bit on the touchy-feely side. I normally do not prefer touchy-feely stories, but this one was not so much that it distracted the reader from the true purpose of the book, relationship building during times of trouble and loss.
I give Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde 5 out of 5 Bookmarks. If you are looking for something new, give this book a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed.