A heart-stirring novel about the joy that comes from finding love in unexpected places by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author. Thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble lives in an unhappy home in the Sierra Nevada foothills where her father makes life miserable for her and her mother, Mary. One day Abby witnesses a man dump a litter of puppies into the nearby river. Diving in to rescue all seven, she knows she won’t be able to bring them home. Afraid for their fate at the pound, she takes them to an abandoned cabin, where all she can offer is a promise that she’ll be back the next day. To grieving widower Elliot Colvin, life has lost meaning. Looking for solace, he retreats to the hunting cabin he last visited years ago, before his wife’s illness. What he discovers is not at all what he seven puppies and one determined girl with an indomitable heart. As Abby and Elliot’s friendship deepens, Abby imagines how much better her life―and the puppies’ lives―would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide how long they’re willing to defer happiness. Seven Perfect Things is a story about joy, where to find it, how to know it when you see it, and the courage it takes to hang on to it once you have it.
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 44 published and forthcoming books.
Her newer releases are Dreaming of Flight, Boy Underground, Seven Perfect Things, My Name is Anton, Brave Girl, Quiet Girl, Stay, Have You Seen Luis Velez?, Just After Midnight, Heaven Adjacent, The Wake Up, Allie and Bea, Say Goodbye for Now, Leaving Blythe River, Ask Him Why, Worthy, The Language of Hoofbeats, Take Me With You, Walk Me Home, and When I Found You.
Forthcoming are So Long, Chester Wheeler, and Just a Regular Boy..
Other novels include When You Were Older, Where We Belong, Don’t Let Me Go, Second Hand Heart, Jumpstart the World, Becoming Chloe, Love in the Present Tense, The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance, Chasing Windmills, The Day I Killed James, and Diary of a Witness.
She is co-author, with publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of How to be a Writer in the E-Age: a Self-Help Guide.
Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward was made into a major Warner Brothers motion picture. It was chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in over 30 countries. Simon & Schuster released a special 15th anniversary edition in December of ’14.
Pay It Forward: Young Readers Edition, an age-appropriate edited edition of the original novel, was released by Simon & Schuster in August of ‘14. It is suitable for children as young as eight.
Ms. Hyde, you had me at “a new book from Catherine Ryan Hyde.” You double had me with that cover--PUPPIES! Seven perfect puppies! I didn’t even read the blurb. Gosh, this lady gets me every time—she has never let me down. This is my 5th book of hers and all are 5-star reads IMHO.
This author is a bit like another favorite of mine Sonja Yoerg. They both have a clear style, but you never know how either one is going to package it. In the case of CRH, you can always count on a great story containing several key ingredients—true to life characters with strong dialogue, lovely (yes, really) plot, young people, older people who usually dispense life lessons, hardship, suspense, friendship, and love (usually not romantic love). You will also get realistic situations that end positively, if not always wrapped up in a bow (I repeat—realistic). Her novels are consistently heartfelt and tend to wrench out a tear or two. Or three.
This book is no exception. Thirteen-year-old Abby finds herself in sudden possession of 7 puppies. Abby’s mom, Mary, is stuck in a very bad marriage. Elliott has just lost his beloved wife. Oh, and there’s an old abandoned cabin. Throw them together, mix in the CRH touch, and you get Seven Perfect Things.
Over the last year it has taken me much longer to read a book. Two books ago, it took me 3 weeks to finish. Seven Perfect Things took me less than two days. I even skipped two nights of Rachel Maddow to read it. That says a lot, believe me.
Criticism? Not really, but if pressed, I would say I knew where the story was going. But that’s OK. Hey, this is CRH. Who cares.
Obviously, I strongly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a warm, non-sappy, uplifting read. It will make you smile and make you cry. It will make you feel great.
I’d like to thank Net Galley, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC of this book. Opinions stated are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
*As a preface to my review, I want to add this content warning: the story does contain a brief scene of animal abuse, as well as instances of emotional abuse and physical intimidation. These aren't dwelled upon or detailed in nature, but are central to the story's character arcs. Naturally these are upsetting topics, so you may want to avoid the book if you feel particularly sensitive to those issues.*
When 13-year old Abby sees a man throw a sack into the river, she can’t imagine the path that her choice to go retrieve that sack will lead to. Inside the sack she finds seven puppies and, determined to save them all and hide them from her cruel and neglectful father, houses them in a shed that’s on the property of what appears to be an abandoned cabin up in the foothills, a safe distance from her home. In a separate chain of events, we have Elliot, who’s wife has just died and decides to get away to his long unvisited cabin for some peace and solitude. In a convergence of events, he’s surprised to find Abby’s seven puppies being housed in his shed, but instantly impressed with her character and efforts to help the puppies. After initial resistance, he agrees to continue to house them and helps her with their care, and in the process meets her mother, Mary, who he quickly develops protective feelings toward, when he finds out how badly her husband Stan treats she and Abby. These feelings are put to the test when Stan discovers the budding friendship between Mary and Elliot, which leads Stan to take menacing actions to control his family.
Although that last sentence doesn’t lend itself to what I’m about to say, my overall feeling of the book is “Awww … how sweet.” I mean it has puppies for goodness sake. That alone gives all the warm and fuzzy feels. The puppies are definitely just a plot device to examine the dynamics of three people: Abby, Mary and Elliot, each experiencing crises and traumatic situations they’re trying to find their way out of, and the puppies are the excuse to bring them all together in a common pursuit. The puppies are like the balm to these bad situations they’re all in.
If you’ve seen a feel-good, slightly cheesy movie, with an occasionally unrealistic plot that somehow still manages to make you feel all happy and content inside, then this one is a lovely, little read. All the major characters, other than the contemptible Stan, were genuinely likable and I wanted to see all the good things come to them. I appreciate that Elliot’s situation as a widow befriending Mary was handled sensitively and the book stayed within the lanes of reality on it, rather than going all romance novel on me.
I give it 4 p”awwww”s 🐾 … I mean ★★★★
Thank you to NetGalley who provided this ARC in exchange for an honest review
I’ve never read a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde. But I just couldn’t resist that book cover with those beautiful puppies. This is a sweet story about a 13 year old from an unhappy family that rescues 7 puppies that someone throws into a river. She can’t take them home, so she finds other living arrangements for them. Those living arrangements happen to be a vacant shed on the vacation property of a man who has just lost his wife. “Well, it turns out it’s impossible to be unhappy when you’re lying on your back with a bunch of puppies all around you, doing what puppies do.” Were truer words ever spoken? These are characters it’s easy to care about - Abby, Elliot and Mary. They’re all good people and I wanted things to work out for all of them. I applauded all the minor characters that went out of their way to help. It’s a heartwarming story and a lovely, easy read. My thanks to netgalley and Lake Union for an advance copy of this read.
Whenever I need a book for a palate cleanser, just something that will be a guaranteed pleasant, good and relaxing read, my go to author is Catherine Ryan Hyde. So when I saw this book involving puppies, it was a no brainer to take the plunge.
It's the last couple of days of school and 13 year old Abby encounters a truck where someone throws over a bulging sack into the river. She notices that what's inside is moving. Abby is on the swim team at school and isn't afraid of the water, so she bravely dives into the lake to rescue whatever's in the sack. It turns out to be 7 puppies. Without her parents' knowledge of what's just happened, she immediately takes responsibility for the welfare of these puppies. With a lift from a local woman she makes it to the pound five minutes before closing, only to be told that the puppies will most likely be euthanized because people haven't been adopting enough and they have no room. So she takes them up a steep hill where there's an abandoned cabin and shed that had been broken into in the past, and through her resourceful efforts assembles a makeshift temporary home for these puppies. I really enjoyed "listening" to her 13 year old thought processes in motion solving each problem issue she encountered being in charge of these puppies, including her rationale in assigning certain names to them.
In a parallel story Elliot is caring for his wife Pat in home hospice. They were soul mates and he can't imagine his life without her. They never had children because they were both focusing on their careers, when the unthinkable happened and his wife came down with a terminal illness. We experience the funeral repast arranged by friends where he's so upended he can't even eat the plate of chicken and salads placed in front of him. His work friend Roger suggests that Elliot escape up to his cabin where he used to enjoy hunting- just to regroup and find some solace. Of course he shows up to discover 7 puppies being sheltered in his backyard shed, with newspapers placed around and his swiped couch pillows strategically placed in corners to serve as doggie beds.
When Elliot and Abby met it was interesting "watching" them broach a friendship. His wife only died a few days ago, and he was still reeling from his grief. However, the unique situation that met him when he arrived at the cabin helped distract from his sorrow, and kept him busy as he helped Abby with her puppy problem. I also loved a scenario that Abby would propose to a people who needed to find a little bit of heaven: to just trust her, and lay down among the puppies as they would happily busy themselves with tails wagging and kisses to offer, climbing all around them.
There was also an issue with Abby's family dynamic that played into this mix. Her father Stan was very surly and made the home situation tense and unpleasant. Abby's mom Mary was a stay at home mom and felt trapped in an unhappy marriage. Both Abby and Mary clung to each other for peace and understanding, and felt threatened by the tactics of Stan. Abby and Mary found refuge and respite when they would surreptitiously visit Elliot at the cabin, and Abby would go their daily to faithfully care for the puppies.
This was a delightful, easy read, and kudos to this author for churning out yet another gem!
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley
4★ “In that split second, Abby saw the sack move. But not move the way the current moved it. Something jerky, from inside. It sliced into her belly like a cold knife.”
If you’ve read the promotional blurb, you already know that young Abby is going to rescue a litter of pups who have been flung into the river. They are just lucky that she happens to be a strong swimmer on her school swim team.
This is a warm, feel-good story about a young girl, her lovely mum, Mary, and her dreadful father Stan. His abuse is only controlling, sarcastic non-violence, no bloodshed or bruises. Mum has a close friend, Viv, in whom she confides, and Dad has just discovered that’s where she goes when she says she’s off to a community do every week. He follows her. He’s that kind of creep.
He’s also discovered her small cache of cash, in a sock in her drawer. She says it’s for his birthday present. (Yeah, right.)
“He closed the drawer with a bang that made her jump. And he was watching her reactions, too. Purposely watching.
‘Why act so nervous if everything is all aboveboard?’
‘Truthfully? Because you scare me sometimes when you’re mad.’
‘If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of.’
‘That’s not necessarily true. Sometimes I tell you the truth and you don’t believe me.’
It was a brave thing for a person to say to Stan, and she knew it. But in this case, honesty felt like her safest bet.
Meanwhile, the puppies! Abby and her friend Jamie discovered a hunting cabin up in the hills that they like to hike to. The owner is seldom there, and it’s a good destination. But now the locks have been broken, things have been stolen, and there’s a handy, almost empty, puppy-sized shed. What luck.
But the book opens with Elliott Colvin, whose wife is dying. He gets out for fresh air when a hospice volunteer visits. He’s shocked to see how young she looks.
“Then he was struck by the disturbing thought that he’d gotten old. Or at least old enough that grown adult human beings looked bizarrely young to him.”
They say you’re getting old when the cops look young. That goes for doctors, too, in my experience. So I assumed Elliott was elderly. No. Turns out he is only 52, which means he has a long, lonely life ahead when she goes.
Needless to say, Elliott finally retreats to his cabin (yes, of course it's his), only to discover Abby’s secret. She is 13 and one of those irrepressible kids for whom life is something to be enthusiastic about. She has learned one of the world’s great truths already.
“’I just figured something out,’ she said. ‘It’s impossible to not be happy with seven puppies climbing all over you. It literally can’t be done.’ Amazingly, they held still and held her gaze.”
She’s right, of course, as all dog lovers will know. This is a book for you. I’ve not read this author before, but Goodreads friends swear by her, and I can see why they turn to her for something positive. She writes well, and while it was obvious, of course, where the story was going, there were many nervous moments as she got us there safely.
Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted several months before publication (May 2021).
As thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble walked home from school after a slight detour, she watched as a car stopped on the bridge in front of her and a bag was tossed into the river. Abby was shocked to see the bag moving as it slowly sank. After diving into the river and dragging the bag to the surface, she emptied it onto the riverbank, only to find seven puppies; coughing and vomiting river water, but they were all alive, thanks to Abby. But now what was she to do with them? She couldn’t take them home, her father would kill them himself, and her inquiries at the pound meant she couldn’t leave them there. So she took them up to the abandoned cabin on the mountain side where she left them in the shed, promising she’d be back the next day.
Elliot Colvin had just buried his wife Pat after her long illness, and he didn’t know what to do with himself. Grieving, he thought he might take the advice of a friend and head to his cabin in the mountains, which he hadn’t been to in a long time. But when Elliot arrived, he was shocked to see his cabin had been burgled with almost nothing left inside. As he headed to the shed to see if anything in there had been taken, the sight of seven puppies had him speechless. What was he going to do with them? Who had robbed his place? He was angry and sad – but when a young girl arrived, claiming to own the puppies, sparks flew. Not for long though. Slowly Abby and Elliot became friends – but trauma and upset was looming…
Seven Perfect Things is another heartwarming novel by a favourite author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, which I adored. She never misses a beat with her stories and who doesn’t love a tale about puppies 😊 There was some darkness in the novel, but there was also happiness. Determination, courage and love kept Abby and Mary going, even while danger lurked. A perfect story which I highly recommend.
With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
This is another truly delightful novel from the pen of Catherine Ryan Hyde. With three wonderful characters, Elliot, Abby and Mary and seven adorable puppies it could hardly miss. Although it's not too hard to guess how it will end, the journey is worth taking as the characters meet, interact and support each other.
Thirteen year old Abby, growing up in an unhappy home with her miserable, controlling father, Stan and fearful, downbeat mother, Mary, finds herself the owner of seven beautiful puppies when she saves them from drowning. She can't take them home but knows of a seemingly abandoned cabin in the hills behind her house with an empty shed that would be perfect for housing them until she works out what to do with them. However, what she doesn't know is that new widower Elliot, who has nursed his wife through a long illness, will shortly be visiting his cabin seeking some peace and comfort in the mountains he loves.
The puppies are the cement which will bind Elliott, Abby and Mary together in friendship. As Abby says, "It’s impossible to not be happy with seven puppies climbing all over you." Elliott is kind and caring and gives Abby a glimpse of what life could be like with such a man instead of one who is mean and sarcastic and watches their every move. However, life is not all roses and puppies for Mary and Abby with Stan watching and plotting in the shadows and they will both soon have to dig deep into their inner wells of strength and endurance. Despite, some moments of suspense, overall this is a lovely, warm and tender read, with a light touch on some sensitive issues. 4.5★
With many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for a copy to read.
Being a total animal lover I really enjoyed ready this book. Abby a child of 13 years old is the main character and an absolutely delight. I find after reading a mystery thriller I like to change to a lighter read Catherine Ryan Hyde has never disappointed me with any of her books.
Abby Hubble, lives with her mum Mary and father Stan in the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountains. Her father is a grumpy man and both Mary and Abby are extremely unhappy. The only thing Abby enjoys is being on the school swim team, she's a strong swimmer, one day she notices a man throw a sack off a bridge, she dives into the water and saves the seven puppies inside. The local dog pound is full, she cant take them home and she leaves the puppies in a shed near an abandoned cabin. Abby promises them she will be back the next day, she doesn’t have a lot of money and she’s determined to look after the puppies.
Elliot Colvin is a widower, his wife Pat has recently passed away and he’s not sure what to do. He’s on leave from his job, he has no children and he decides to go stay at his cabin. When he arrives, the cabin has been broken into and he finds the seven puppies in the shed. Abby arrives the next morning, he knows a thirteen year old girl didn’t break into his cabin, steal his property and he can understand why she wanted to save the puppies. Abby and Elliot are both lonely, they become friends and together care for the puppies. Abby seems to be the only person who understand how Elliot feels and she also wishes he was her father instead of Stan.
Stan Hubble is controlling, he suddenly takes Abby and her mother Mary on a road trip, Abby's devastated that she might never see the puppies and Elliot again. Mary needs to find all the courage she can muster to get her and Abby away from Stan and try to find Elliot and the puppies.
Seven Perfect Things is a story about hope, friendship, kindness, cute puppies, being brave and taking a chance. Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books always tug at your heart strings, this one certainly does and it's a lovely story. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
Seven Perfect Things may not rate as my favourite ever novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde but I've read several of her titles and have loved each one. This was no exception and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy a book where social issues are front and centre whilst still having a feel good vibe. Oh, and if you're a puppy person, well, this is not to be missed.
The story alternates between three different perspectives. Elliot, Abby and Mary. Elliot has recently lost his beloved wife and is grieving. He can't stand to be alone in the home they shared and heads out to spend some time in his rural cabin.
Abby is a thirteen year old girl who happens upon a stranger tossing a sack into the swift flowing waters of the river. In an instant she realises there's something alive in the bag and she launches herself into the river to rescue whatever it may be. The contents turn out to be seven puppies and having rescued them her conscience wont allow her to let any harm come to them but this is not easy and places her into a difficult situation.
Mary is Abby's mother and it doesn't take long for readers to realise she's in an unhealthy marriage. Her husband may not be physically violent but he definitely psychologically abuses her. He bullies her, intimidates and controls her and completely ignores Abby. Though she's not happy she tells herself she stays in the marriage fortye sake of Abby.
The beauty of Ryan Hyde's writing is that she seems able to construct scenes that challenge me to think upon how I might behave if I found myself in a particular situation. In this case, some would say, in an abusive marriage. She's excellent at creating young marginal characters (think Luis Veliz and the injustices and the issue of racism he faced, or Molly the young homeless girl in Brave Girl, Quite Girl). In this case Abby feared her father and desperately wished she and her mother could escape his clutches. I also enjoy the way she uses chance encounters and unexpected friendships with goodhearted adults to help guide her young protagonists through tricky and often terrifying situations. In this case Elliot was that person for Abby and he provided moral and practical support to enable Mary to change their circumstances.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and appreciated the difficult situations all three characters found themselves in. Perhaps it was slightly predictable and perhaps the denoument may have been too good to be true but personally I like the feel good element and will certainly pick up future titles Catherine Ryan Hyde may decide to write.
My thanks to the author, to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review which it was my pleasure to provide.
Thirteen-year-old Abby sees a man drowning a litter of puppies into the river. She jumps in and rescues them but quickly learns that just getting them out of the river is a small part of what is going to keep them safe. She has to hide the seven puppies because her father would never let her bring them home; her father ensures home life is miserable for her and her stay-at-home-mom mother.
Elliot is grieving his wife when he retreats to his mountain cabin and learns that a thirteen-year-old girl is using his place as an impromptu rescue retreat for puppies. He doesn’t want to get involved, but when one dog hurts his paw, he and Abby head to the vet and their friendship begins. When Elliot learns of the emotional abuse that Abby’s mother faces, he offers her refuge in the city. Before she can leave her husband, he whisks them hundreds of miles away from their home. She has no way to get in touch with Elliot.
I love Catherine Ryan Hyde's books - this is the third book of her that I've read and loved them all. She has a great way of conveying feelings onto the page that just reach you deep down. I understand she has written 40 books so far, so I'm glad I have many more to look forward to!
This one was about a man who had lost his wife, a woman and her daughter who were in an abusive relationship, and seven adorable puppies that someone tried to drown. The story is sweet and heart-warming (not the abuse part - which wasn't dwelt on). Elliot is a dream man who is understanding, compassionate, and a problem-solver. Mary has issues with self-worth. Abbey, Mary's 13-year-old daughter, is smart, strong and kind. There are some difficult situations in the story that Hyde handles with sensitivity and caring.
Thanks to Lake Union Publishing through Netgalley for an advance copy.
I currently have 3 dogs including a 4-month old puppy. So obviously my heart belongs to dogs. This might not be the most honest review you will read of this book. When I first started reading this I wondered what I would be able to say, but as I read along the story captured me and I found myself enjoying the trip. I also decided I wasn’t going to be critical of anything about this book.
The puppies in this story are not the main characters. They only serve as the vehicle to propel the story. The puppies themselves, except for one named Tippy, are just refer to as a bunch. They are given names but no real identity. They are just puppies. If you like stories involving dogs, you will probably enjoy this one. However, if dogs aren’t your thing there is still an interesting story here. Although there are some elementary dog training ideas described.
The story does have some of the adult characters having interesting conversations about relationships. A reader recently mentioned that she likes strong female leads. I think 13-year-old Abby will satisfy that criteria. She strong, smart and supportive of the adults in the story.
Endings are tough and many a good book has been ruined by a poorly written ending. This ending was perfect. And really, who doesn’t like a happy ending.
If this book is appealing to you, may I recommend The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron. Enjoy the holiday season.
Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an egalley in exchange for an honest review
A man who loses the love of his life. A teenage girl that rescues seven puppies. A woman that married young and feels trapped in her marriage. In this heartwarming tale from the Queen of tugging at my heartstrings, love is found in the most unexpected places.
Hard to believe that up until a few years ago I had never read any of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books and she has quickly become one of my favourite authors. If you're looking for a nice read to take along on that family vacation, I highly recommend bringing some tissues. Also, the puppies are well taken care of and loved by the majority of the humans in this story.
Goodreads review published 04/06/21 Publication Date 04/05/21
This is the first book I have read by Catherine Ryan Hyde, so I do not know if it is typical of her writing style or not. The first part of this book, to maybe 70%, was a sweet, simple read. Then, I was surprised at the shift to an edge of your seat moment and the story suddenly picked up pacing. I was expecting the story to continue meandering along with nothing major really happening. I thought I knew where it was going and that it would quietly get there. It did not go quietly.
I was enjoying the slower pace in the beginning book. It was just what I expected. A sweet story about a girl who rescues some puppies and meets a man, who just so happens to need someone in his life and the distraction of puppies. But, I really enjoyed the latter part as well. For a short time the book was difficult to put down and I found that I finished it rather quickly after that shift occurred.
I thought this was a really nice story and I enjoyed how the characters developed. I would be interested in reading more of Hyde's work and have several of her books on my to-read list that I am looking forward to. 3.5★ rounded up.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The story of these perfect puppies, tossed in a river by an abusive man, captured my heart, as did the three hurting characters who rally around them. Abby, 13, rescues the puppies and takes them to a shelter, which has no room. She hides them in a cabin in the woods, where Elliot, a grieving widower, discovers them. Abby’s father is a cruel man, and Abby and her mother Mary suffer greatly because of him. When Elliot meets Mary, Abby so wishes they could find new life together. A poignant story that breaks, then heals the heart.
Pub Date 04 May 2021 #SevenPerfectThings #NetGalley
Thanks to Catherine, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.
Catherine Ryan Hyde's novels are always just what I need. Her books are the textbook perfect example of books that make me say "just one more chapter" on repeat. If I somehow ever lose me love of reading, CRH's writing, characters, and storytelling could revive it instantly.
"Seven Perfect Things" is a sweet, wholesome read that also picks up the pace and intensity at the end. I equally loved the tenderness this book provided, as well as its compelling drama. It made the book legitimately impossible for me to put down until it was done and I knew how it all turned out.
This book, like all her others, really cracks you wide open and makes you feel emotionally connected to the characters as well as connected to yourself. The writing taps into a very, very wise and relatable part of human nature. While this book rotated between three very different points of view, I had empathy and moments of likeness with them all.
Another wonderful read under my belt! Cannot wait to keep visiting more of CRH's massive body of work!
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication date: May 4, 2021
After the year we have all had, what better way to brighten up your reading life than with seven playful puppies? Catherine Ryan Hyde’s uplifting, light-hearted writing style is back in full swing with “Seven Perfect Things”.
Thirteen year old Abby Hubble is on her way home from swim practice when she sees a man throw a moving, squirming bag over a bridge. Without thinking, Abby jumps into the water below and recovers the bag, only to find seven living puppies inside. When she takes them to the pound, only to discover the pound is full and the puppies’ will only be euthanized, Abby takes the litter to an abandoned house, knowing if she brings them home, her controlling and emotionally abusive father will definitely get rid of them.
Recently widowed Elliot Colvin leaves his home in the city for a brief reprieve at his hunting cabin, hoping to get a bit of space from the memory of his deceased wife. When he discovers seven puppies at his hunting cabin, Elliot is beyond surprised. Even more surprising is the fast friendship he forges with the young owner of the puppies, and the two of them work to formulate a plan that will not only give the rescued puppies a home, but will help bring two lost souls together.
Ryan Hyde’s writing reminds me quite a bit of Nicholas Sparks in that the writing is uplifting and unpretentious, and there is always some kind of tragic and ill-fated love story. Keeping in mind I am a huge fan of Sparks, this is not at all a bad thing.
Abby and her mother are endearing, living on eggshells to avoid upsetting Abby’s quick-to-anger father. I immediately felt sympathy for them, and rooted for them throughout. Obviously, the puppies add an adorable factor that is both cheesy and saccharine but also completely lovable. Who doesn’t like puppies?
Catherine Ryan Hyde definitely doesn’t disappoint with her newest novel. Not only will long time readers and fans find solace in the uplifting and emotionally-charged “Seven Perfect Things”, but new readers will quickly take to her positivity and charm. Ryan Hyde is everything this battered and broken world needs.
Seven Perfect Things is a wonderfully heart-melting contemporary story set in rural Northern California, about how an abandoned litter of puppies changes the lives of three unhappy people. It’s not due out until May, but the joy of being up to date with all my review deadlines is that when I want to read a book I know will have a happy ending and no violent death, I can bump one up the queue! Catherine Ryan Hyde has perfected a formula to create beautiful stories that are all completely different despite incorporating the same elements each time - grief & loss, non-romantic love & friendship, usually animals, and always an unusually amazing young person. It’s rare for me not to give them 5 stars, and this one will not be the exception.
When lonely thirteen year old only child Abby witnesses a sack with something moving in it being thrown into a river, she doesn’t hesitate - she dives in and rescues seven little puppies from certain death. Unable to take them home to her unfeeling and controlling father Stan, and downtrodden mother Mary, and knowing if she takes them to the pound they’ll probably be put down, she hides them in an abandoned cabin in the foothills outside town. Elliott, who has recently lost his beloved wife, visits his old hunting cabin to find solace in tranquility, so is shocked to find seven wriggling pups and a feisty young teenager in his shed. Won over in spite of himself, he wants to help Abby, and her mother, but Stan is not going to let them walk away...
This book had me cheering, booing, holding my breath, and nearly crying happy tears at unexpected moments (Go Tippy!) In real life I’m not particularly into dogs or teenagers, but Abby’s courage, empathy and resilience won me over immediately, and had me wishing I too could lie on the ground and be swarmed by cute puppies. Luckily my cat-babies make good substitutes so I don’t do anything rash (much more time for reading with cats!) Elliott’s kindness and practicality was also immediately endearing. I took longer to warm to Mary, wondering how anyone would put up with a man like Stan for so long, but the more we are shown of their relationship, the more I understood. I also liked the various minor characters whose kindness help save Abby & Mary when everything seems hopeless. I would’ve liked to find out that a terrible things happened to the two awful characters (I’m including the anonymous puppy-abandoner: drowning would be too good for him) but CRH wisely leaves that to our imagination.
Recommended to anyone wanting a gentle pick me up read, I felt slightly bereft that it was over - then remembered that she has an extensive back-catalogue, with many more I’ve yet to read - and seems to publish a couple of books a year, so lots to look forward to! Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC which allowed me to give an honest review. Seven Perfect Things is published on May the 4th (be with you...)
A heartwarming story centering around seven puppies.
Abby is a thirteen-year-old living with her mother Mary and her emotionally abusive father. One day she sees someone drop a bag of puppies into the river. Jumping in to save them, she now has to find a place to keep them since her home is not an option. She finds an abandoned shed.
Elliot is recently widowed. After his wife's funeral, he goes home to his cabin, which has been abandoned for the last few years to find puppies in the shed. Abby and Elliot's lives now intersect.
This is a story about finding happiness where you least expect it and how the kindness of strangers can change your life.
I listened to the audio version which was available with Kindle Unlimited.
I really like most of the Catherine Ryan Hyde books I've read, but this one was special. The above mentioned puppies, a 13 year old girl who rescues them from drowning, her Mum and a good man who helps her with the puppies and more. And one very bad man who also happens to be Abbie's father.
So what is there not to like. A few tissues along the way, but recommended anyway.
I’m always lured in by cute dogs on the cover, unfortunately. Someone throws a sack of puppies in the river and 13 year old Abby jumps into a river and saves them. She finds an uninhabited cabin and tries to care for the pups there. The owner comes back and he’s nice, and helps her. The characters--a nasty, abusive dad, a spineless mom, a kind man, and a spunky teen—never really felt real to me, and the plot seemed contrived. I was very disappointed. I received an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Whenever you are in need of a heartwarming story, Catherine Ryan Hyde will never let you down.
Abby lives with her mom and her controlling/abusive father in a small, secluded California town. (The seclusion is by design so that he can easily maintain power and control over his family)
Abby is walking home from school and sees a car throw a sack into the River- she goes in after it and it contains 7 puppies! She cannot take them home. She secretly brings them to the deserted hunting cabin that no one has been to in years.
Elliot has recently lost his wife- the love of his life - in a long battle with cancer. He makes a trip up to his cabin in this secluded little town as a retreat and a place to work through his grief.
7 perfect puppies serve as a catalyst for change for Abby, her mom and Elliot.
The story is easy to read and sometimes a little predictable, but there wasn’t a moment of reading that I wasn’t engaged and absorbed in the story.
Abby and her mother, Mary have a difficult home-life. Her father is controlling and abusive. They are constantly walking on eggshells to avoid setting him off.
When Abby sees someone toss a sack into the river she dives in without thinking. What she discovers is seven puppies but she can't take them home. She takes them to the animal shelter in town where she is told by the harried worker that they will probably end up being euthanised. Appalled that their lives will be tossed away she refuses to surrender them, but where can she take them?
Recently widowed, Elliot has returned to his hunting cabin for the first time in many years. But when he opens the shed, seven puppies spill out.
There is something a little magical about this book. It's the story of three people facing different life challenges, brought together by seven puppies. In each other they find their second chances. I really loved this book. It's such a positive, uplifting story. It's good for the heart.
Seven Perfect Things - Catherine Ryan Hyde 5★ The picture on the cover is worth at least 10 stars all by itself. Inside the cover is a wonderful and heartwarming perfect story. It's a story of bravery, of heroics, of commitment, of responsibilities, of relationships, but mostly, it's about love and creating a family. Through in the miracle of second chances and you have something that will stay with you for a long, long time. Of course, there are the seven perfect furry, wiggly, cuddly little things that will charm you with their innocence, and sweet warm puppy breath. I ask you, who could resist that?
As soon as I saw those adorable puppies on the cover of this book, I got such a warm and fuzzy feeling I knew I had to read it. Abby, a young girl with an unsettled home life, sees someone toss a sack into the river near her home. When she notices movement in the sack she doesn't hesitate to jump in and ends up rescuing seven puppies which she takes to an abandoned cabin where she eventually meets up with Elliot who owns the cabin but hasn't been there in years. Told from the points of view of Abby, her mother Mary and Elliot, this was a well written, heartwarming book that I would recommend to friends. Seven Perfect Things is a story about taking a chance and believing in the good in some people. This is the second book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I've read and enjoyed and look forward to reading some of her other works.
With thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this story prior to publication.
A very touching and heartfelt story by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I loved the characters in this book and teenager Abby was a very brave teenager who really made the story “come alive.” Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Catherine Ryan Hyde for the ARC of this bookI I have read many Catherine Ryan Hyde books and have loved them all. Some I love more than others and this is one of them. Abby is a teenager with a loving mother and a distant, mean father. One day she sees a stranger throw a bag into the river. The bag is moving. She dives in and is able to get it out of the river. What follows is a beautiful story of love, growth, and strength. The characters are well-written. I loved Abby and Elliot and the relationship between Mary and Viv felt very realistic. The writing is great, once I started this book I had a hard time putting it down, and when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it. When I read Have You Seen Luis Velez by the same author I read it again when I finished it. This book is the same way - I already want to read it again! This is a book I will recommend to everyone. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, have lost your faith in humanity, or just want an easy, engaging book read this book. You won’t be disappointed.
Oh boy. After seeing all the five star reviews, I feel like my review will make me seem like someone who would kick a puppy! Ok, the puppies are cute, but the inane conversations and improbable scenarios induced so much eye rolling that I almost drove off the road listening! Maybe it's more of a YA book? In any case, it was not for me. My teeth ached from the sweetness and stilted dialogue. My throat was raw from yelling at Mary to start making smart decisions for her and her daughter and stop being such a victim. I felt that the situation with her abusive husband was not given enough gravity. The solution of running to yet another man (one who was widowed for all of a few days when they met and a few months when she moved in) made me want to scream. The conversations are so slow and tedious (with silly details at times), I kept yelling "get on with it!" I hate to leave bad reviews for any book because it's such an accomplishment to write one, but this one missed on too many levels for me.
A thirteen year old girl rescues a sack with seven puppies that has been thrown into the river. She can’t take them home so she keeps them in a shed next to a cabin that hasn’t been used for a number of years. This is the first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed this story, I will be looking out for more of her work. There were quite a few memorable characters in this book and the story really lifted my spirits. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.