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Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Cover to Take Me with You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

August, a science teacher on break for the summer, is making a pilgrimage to Yellowstone to honor his 19-year-old son Phillip who was killed in an auto accident. The excursion had originally been planned as a father/son “trip of a lifetime.” When the RV breaks down and the repair promises to be costly, August resigns himself to the fact that he won’t have enough money to reach his destination or scatter Phillip’s ashes in the park.

While spending three days waiting to get back on the road, August becomes acquainted with Wes, the mechanic, and his two young sons, Seth and Henry. Wes frequently seems on the brink of asking August a favor, but he can’t quite force himself to broach whatever the topic might be. Finally, in desperation, he offers to repair the RV for free, if the teacher will take his sons on the road with him. Wes reveals he’s scheduled to serve 90 days in prison for a DUI (which we eventually learn is not his first). With no other family, he’s grasping at straws to keep his sons out of a foster home—where they’ve gone before with hefty consequences.

August needs zero time to know that he feels absolutely no obligation to take two boys he’s just met on a three-month journey. The mechanic pleads with him to sleep on the request before making up his mind. With the repair complete and the RV in fine running condition, August is prepared to pay his bill and move on. For some reason even he doesn’t understand, he finds himself agreeing to take the boys.

I LOVED each and every page of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s book, Take Me with You. What starts as a fluke meeting evolves into a life-affirming experience for the boys, and one equally transformative for August. The three forge a bond that even a jealous father cannot sever.