What an amazing and thoughtful story, “The Wake Up” by Catherine Ryan Hyde is. I loved everything about it. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a wonderful storyteller and weaves her details, descriptions and characters together for a wonderful reading experience.
The genre for this story is Fiction. The story is told in the present tense and goes back to the past when it is relevant to the characters and events.
The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. Aiden Delacorte, is a 40-year-old rancher, who suddenly has what he calls a “wake up” during a deer hunt. Aiden is very away of the animals around him and their feelings. He no longer can hunt and he starts to recall that he was a sensitive child growing up. He could not step on ants, for fear of hurting them. As an adult, until this wake up, Aiden hadn’t felt anything. Now Aiden is extremely sensitive and empathetic mostly to animals. Aiden’s neighbors look at this as a weakness, and wonder what is wrong.
Aiden has a new girlfriend, Gwen, with two children. Gwen’s young son, Milo, is an angry and rebellious child, after growing up in a home with an abusive father. Somehow Aiden starts to relate and feel Milo’s feelings and understands his acting out. Will Aiden be able to help Milo and himself?
I appreciate the way Catherine Ryan Hyde discusses important issues such as emotional and sexual abuse, self acceptance and worth, and the benefit of psychological counseling. The author also shows the importance of family, friends, support, encouragement, love hope and faith, learning and growth.
Some of my favorite scenes are on the ranch with the horses, cows and other animals. I also liked the interaction with Aiden and Gwen’s children. I would highly recommend this for readers of fiction. I would like to thank Catherine Ryan Hyde, NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.