Book Review: The Wake Up by Catherine Ryan Hyde

The Wake Up

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a hauntingly emotional novel of how one man’s life changes forever when he rediscovers his ability to feel the pain of others.

Something has been asleep in forty-year-old cattle rancher Aiden Delacorte for a long time. It all comes back in a rush during a hunting trip, when he’s suddenly attuned to the animals around him, feeling their pain and fear as if it were his own. But the newfound sensitivity of Aiden’s “wake up” has its price. He can no longer sleepwalk through life, holding everyone at arm’s length. As he struggles to cope with a trait he’s buried since childhood, Aiden falls in love with Gwen, a single mother whose young son bears a burden of his own.

Sullen and broken from his experiences with an abusive father, Milo has turned to acting out in violent and rebellious ways. Aiden can feel the boy’s pain, as well as that of his victims. Now he and Milo must sift through their pasts to find empathy with the innocent as well as the guilty, to come to terms with their deepest fears, and to finally discover the compassionate heart of a family.

 

My Rating:

 

Favorite Quotes:

 

He wished he had a better bead on the greater worries, but they eluded him. Just shadows. Ghosts. Unknowable and indistinct. And yet so very . . . there.

 

He felt utterly unequipped to go home. Forcing himself back into a world that had put him in some role of authority felt akin to turning a puppy loose on a busy highway.

 

Aiden watched her go. As he did, it formed in his head, wordlessly, that she was a gift being given to him. Something rich and good coming into his life to make up for Milo and the rest of this mess. To give him back a little of the peace that was being stripped down and hauled away.

 

It’s a turning-point moment in people’s lives, when you look yourself in the face like that and realize that who you are, and who you become, and what you do seem to rely on a combination of factors that are partly out of your control.

 

She had been slimmer and better dressed before Grandpa died last year, but some thread within her had been working its way loose since then.

 

It’s like he drew all the curtains and I can’t see in. I know he must be in there somewhere, but I feel like I haven’t even seen him for two years… This little missing person.

 

 My Review:

 

I am intensely frustrated with my inability to articulate the supreme level of expertise, quality, and poignancy of this compellingly written story. I was immediately captivated by the superlative writing and remained riveted and enthralled with every smartly honed sentence. Written from a third-person POV and crossing several timelines in memory, the ingenious and emotive storyline was highly eventful and densely packed with heart-squeezing, throat-burning and eye-stinging observations and staggering insights. Her well-crafted storylines were powerfully detailed, thoughtfully plotted, slyly observant, and pulled sharp visuals that kept the characters moving smoothly behind my eyes. The story was brilliantly paced, well-constructed, and flawlessly executed. I was totally mesmerized and continued to ruminate over the characters and story long after putting my Kindle to rest and attempting sleep. I had also saved four pages of favorite quotes. Catherine Ryan Hyde has mad skills and a new fangirl. I. Am. In. Awe. Five-Stars is not enough, it deserves at least ten!

Catherine Ryan Hyde

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I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON’T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER.

I’m an avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, and have released my first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

I am co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

My novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, 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 paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS’ EDITION in August of ’14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of ’14

You can learn much more about me at www.catherineryanhyde.com

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