Road Trip Bonding
Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a gentle coming of age story. It is a road trip where so much more is seen and felt than just scenery and climate. Bonds are formed that will last a lifetime.
Catherine Ryan Hyde shows that being a father is more than just the biological act. A true father is someone who loves you unconditionally and who will put you first. For children, for anyone, being made to feel second class is deeply distressing. It is possible that a perfect stranger may behave more like a father than one’s real father. Sometimes when our biological fathers let us down, there are others to step into their shoes.
The book is about a journey of discovery. It is about experiencing new things and discovering who you are. The journey is more important than the destination. “It’s more about being than doing. When you find a place you like, you just be there.”
The novel deals with the tough subject of alcoholism. Catherine Ryan Hyde shows the constant battle alcoholics always face and how important it is to continue to go to meetings and to be in touch with your sponsor. Alcohol affects more than just the person drinking. It affects everyone around. Recovering alcoholics need tremendous will power as the bottle can be tempting.
There is also the topic of loss. August lost his nineteen year old son three years earlier. He is still coming to terms with the loss. Twelve year old Seth and seven year old Henry have lost their father to the bottle and their mother walked out on them. “We weren’t important enough to her.” Their loss has traumatised them all in different ways.
The novel explores healing. Healing emotional scars. August, Seth and Henry are thrown together one summer which will transform them all.
Catherine Ryan Hyde shows the importance of truth. Lies will poison any relationship.
The role of Woody, the dog is a pivotal one in the novel. He is a study in loyalty and unconditional love. Woody will form bonds that the years will not break.
Take Me With You is a beautiful novel. It is a gentle story that delves into relationships and I absolutely loved it.