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A Book Review of Don't Let Me Go

Updated on June 17, 2013

Don’t Let Me Go is a book that was published in 2011 by Catherine Ryan Hyde . This book’s setting is unique, in that, most of the action takes place in a run-down apartment building. The story draws you in right from the start and you will be anxious to get back to the book to find out just what will happen to all these characters.

This wonderful book shows how a person can change someone’s life just by being there when it counts.

The wonderful characters in this book are:

  • Grace a ten year old whose zest for life is contagious to all she meets. She is inquisitive, outgoing, smart, and talented. She is also not perfect she can be a bit too loud and she is a little overweight. Grace’s personality is what holds this book and this group together. You can see why these characters take a risk to make life better for this girl.

Grace was a on step outside the apartment when she captivated the attention of some of the residents of the apartment. Slowly this group became a family who rallied to save this little girl from being put in the system.

  • Billy is a former dancer who suffers from agoraphobia and hasn’t been out of the apartment in quite some time. His concern for the little girl outside in the rough neighborhood causes him to step outside his phobias and learn to live again. In this novel Billy learns to overcome his fears and think of someone else instead of his phobias.
  • Rayleen is the African American lady who grew up in the system and makes a plan to save this little girl from a similar fate. She is down on her luck and has almost given up, but Grace gives her a chance to be a hero. Fate works in mysterious ways and she soon finds things getting better for her.
  • Mrs. Hinman is the elderly lady upstairs who doesn’t want to get involved, but somehow gets sucked in with the rest of the characters. Mrs. Hinman can't help but to be drawn outside her comfort zone and she too helps Grace more than she knows.
  • Mr. Lafferty a man who doesn’t seem to have any friends and has a sour outlook on life. He doesn’t seem to be liked by anyone except perhaps Grace. Grace sees a little good in a person who doesn't try very hard to be liked.
  • Felipe the Hispanic who is disliked by Lafferty because of his race, but he is always willing to help and he soon becomes a great ally in the plan to save Grace.
  • Jesse is an African American who seemed to wander into the wrong neighborhood. He seems well educated, well spoken, and very knowledgeable on many subjects. He is a charmer who brings this motley crew together.
  • Elaine is Grace’s mother who doesn’t turn up in the book much at the beginning. She is the one character we don’t get to know very well. She is in a stupor most of the time, but a social worker breaks through to her and one can only hope she turns her life around for good.

The novel is a real page turner. You feel for all of the characters and keep reading hoping that they receive the happy ending that everyone should have.

Don’t Let Me Go reminds me of the great Alfred Hithcock’s movie Rear Window . In that movie James Stewart plays a photographer who is forced to stay in his apartment when he breaks his leg. Looking out his window he begins to learn all about his neighbors. The book’s central setting is the apartment and his chapter begins with a character’s name and a key to an apartment door. Grace is a girl who wants to be around people because her mother is a drug addict who doesn’t seem to know if she exists or not.

It is wonderful to see the compassion these characters have for each other and how they put their minds together to bring joy into a little girl’s life.

I had never read one of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books before, but it won’t be the last time I do. She created characters you grow to care about and you read to the book anxiously wondering what is going to happen to everyone?

The novel Don’t Let Me Go proves you don’t have to use profanity , you don’t need to be violent or use profanity, to create a very entertaining book that has you wanting to read more. The future of books looks very bright indeed.


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