Don't Let Me Go
Don't Let Me Go is an adult novel, published on the 29th of September, 2011 by Transworld UK/Black Swan. The US edition came out in June of 2012 in both Kindle ebook and paperback formats. This is the US cover on the left.
In My Own Words:
Grace is nine years old, living in a seedy 6-unit apartment house in a bad section of Los Angeles. And her mom has fallen deeply into drugs, leaving Grace almost completely unsupervised. She seems to be headed straight for the foster care system.
But one of her neighbors, Rayleen, was once herself a victim of the worst side of the child protective system. And she decides Grace isn't going that route. She tries to pull all the neighbors together to protect the girl. But that's not an easy task. The neighbors are loners, all best suited to going through life apart. Especially Billy Shine (born Donald Feldman), a once-promising Broadway dancer who has descended into agoraphobia and panic attacks, and who never leaves the house. But it is Billy and Grace who truly find and save each other. Now the question is how long they can fend off the woman from the county. And whether Grace's mom will ever get clean.
When it becomes clear that they're only enabling her mom to stay loaded by keeping Grace safe and well cared-for, they take the plan a step further.
They confiscate Grace from her mom, announcing that her mom must have thirty days clean to see the girl again.
When it "works," and her mom finally does get clean, she takes Grace back with an announcement that none of the neighbors, now Grace's family and best friends, are ever to see the girl again.
Billy falls into a deep depression, waiting to see if Grace's mom will ever see fit to change her mind. But in time, recovery works its slow magic, and Grace's mom grows just mature enough to honor the bonds her daughter formed in her absence.
We have been having a great deal of fun creating a live action adaptation from Don't Let Me Go, with three wonderful actors playing Billy, Rayleen and Grace. We've also created some wonderful behind-the-scenes videos of the making of this adapted scene. Check them out here.
And here's the main event, the scene itself. Think of it as a grand experiment in book trailers!
Uk print review sources have been kind to the book so far, with The Big Issue saying, "With a host of lovable characters, fans of Jodi Picoult (not quite sure why this keeps coming up -CRH) will enjoy the turbulent but ultimately uplifting story Don't Let Me Go serves up," and New Books Review saying "The relationship between Billy and Grace is very touching," and calling it, "An excellent read." And The Sun called it, "Original and wonderful."
And here's what the blog reviewers have had to say so far:
Samantha of Chick Lit Plus says, "Don’t Let Me Go was a heartwarming novel, and I loved every minute of it. The pages were filled with drama and love, and Grace just melted my heart. The unique relationship she formed with Billy was so beautiful, and I got tears in my eyes plenty of times while reading. This is a must-read!"
Books Monthly says: "This is a real tear-jerker, written with honesty and sincerity, with mounting tension and intensity. Really, really good."
ChickLit Reviews says: "It’s the kind of novel that makes you think. It’s the kind of novel that makes you happy...The characters in Don’t Let Me Go are amazing...Catherine Ryan Hyde really knows how to tell a story, I mean she’s a genius and Don’t Let Me Go is Catherine Ryan Hyde at her utter best. It was a magnificent read and I’m already wondering when I’ll read it again. Because I miss Grace. Already." Wow. Thanks, Leah!
Notes of Life says: "I read Don’t Let Me Go over 3 days and loved every page of it. I was compelled to keep turning the pages and would definitely recommend this book to others!" Thanks, Nikki-ann!
Sarah's Book Reviews says: "I have been a fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde for a long time, in fact I think I first discovered her when her book, Love in the Present Tense, was chosen as one of the books for Richard and Judy's book club in 2007. This book is one of my favourites...I think that is a brilliant book which covers a number of hard hitting subjects but has a very good basic story underneath these subjects." Thanks, Sarah