Just After Midnight

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

I felt connected to the story and Catherine Ryan Hyde's characters - what a gifted storyteller. She captures the readers from the start and pulls us in -- unable to stop reading.
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This book was not bad, just too much horses for me. Generally I put a lot of thought into my reviews, but this book just did not resonate with me, so I am going to leave it at this.

 Additionally I generally only share reviews that are three stars or higher, so I will not be sharing anything on this book.
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This book has earned a bright shiny CNR--as in Could Not Read.  I wanted to like it, was settled in with tea and high hopes: Horses, a troubled teen, a woman with a secret, fascinating cast of supporting characters including memorable walk-ons, and murder? Sounds like a wonderful mix of drama, excitement, and possibility for a story -- combine that with great settings, challenging decisions, and heartbreak and you've got the basis for a terrific story, right?  You would if it were better written.  So much was right until the words hit the page.  Then there's head hopping, wispy explanations rather than strong prose, sentences that serve where a verb would do.  It was the writing. Plain and simple.  The writing was not strong enough to support this incredible story.  Where were the early readers and editors to help this talented, promising premise become its fullest novel self?  If this were a first draft, I'd be encouraging and also stern:  focus, think, make every sentence justify its existence.  Alas, it is not.  The second star is strictly for the premise, the appealing characters, and keen view into a world that I do not know and am fascinated in learning more about.
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An unlikely friendship and a novel that is so beautiful you'll cry tears of sorrow and joy.  Hope, change and love reigns in this fantastic story.  As a fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde, it does not disappoint and she is a go-to author for me and I look forward to more and more!
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Catherine Ryan Hyde's books haven't disappointed me yet, and this one is no exception.  I enjoyed the characters and the setting.  How nice to see Faith's willingness to help teen-aged Sarah, whom she barely knows, avoid her abusive father and reunite with her beloved horse.  Lovely settings, and some nice lessons about horses and the sport of dressage as well.  All in all a thoroughly enjoyable read for me.  
My thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
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When you have to begin your life over again, whether by your choice or someone else's, you learn exactly what is important in life.  If you can take that lesson and use it to help someone else too, you have already taken the first steps to reclaiming control.  These two "ifs" are not only hugely important, they form the basis of this touching story of two life's that intersect when both people needed someone most.  A tearjerker for sure but you won't be dissatisfied with the story, the characters or the ending.  Catherine Ryan Hyde has earned her reputation for telling stories that touch the reader.  She continues the tradition in Just After Midnight.
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I am a Catherine Ryan Hyde fan, and I always look forward to her next novel. This one, however, felt like she was writing by formula. Yes, she introduces readers to the world of dressage and those who compete in world of formal horse precision show. Hyde has done her research, and her love of horses is clearl. The characters of Faith and Sarah are too familiar, however, as rewrites from past novels. Different names, same issues - fear, loss, recovery. With all this said, I will continue to read her novels as I wait for the return of what she does best.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Get your tissues ready because you will do the ugly cry. Sarah and Faith are both suffering for two very different reasons. They find a way to save each other through some of the worse heartbreak. This is a great book and a powerful story.
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This is a beautiful story about an unlikely friendship. Faith and Sarah are both dealing with significant trauma when they find each other, bonding through their struggles. Unfortunately, this was too horse topic heavy and I found my eyes glazing over often. For someone who knows nothing about horses, the jargon and technical wording was lost on me and detracted from the story. I almost gave in and put the book down at the beginning. I’m glad I pushed through to see this friendship develop but it was much too horse centric for me. Thank you @amazonpublishing for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
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What a wonderful story. This has well written and likeable characters in a story of an unlikely friendship. A good emotional tale with a message of hope. I really enjoyed this one.
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This is my first experience with this author.  Sweet story about an unlikely and unconventional  relationship that forms between a woman running from a failed marriage and a young girl who recently lost her mother.  Parts of the story are predictable but even so, it wasn’t anything that ruined it for me.   Overall an enjoyable read.  

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I could not get into this book. I tried it a couple of months ago and it just didn't interest me. Too much about horses and it seemed to drag on. I kept thinking, get to the story already! Finally I gave up. Too many other books to read so I moved on. While I have liked this author's books in the past, this one just didn't do it for me. But, I would recommend my library purchase it, since we have all her other titles and I know she is popular.
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Faith serves her husband with divorce papers and escapes his reaction by going to her father and stepmother's beach house. She wakes during the night to see a young girl sitting in a lotus position on the sand in front of her house wearing a tank top in the chilly fog. Sarah, fourteen years old, recently lost her mother and is currently living with her Grandmother at the beach. Sarah feels lost since her world has been turned upside down and her father has sold her horse to pay his gambling debts. Faith has walked away from her marriage without a plan, just the need to survive and find the person she once was before marrying Richard. An unlikely friendship is formed between the two women based on the need for friendship and self-preservation. 

Hyde has a writing style that is easy to follow and allows the reader to escape into a world where the good guys prevail. While some may feel that allowing Sarah to go away with Faith, a stranger, may seem unrealistic, I'd like to think that we haven't totally become a cynical, suspicious people. Hyde suggests that we follow our intuition when it comes to others; Faith had a legitimate reason to be wary of the man in the supermarket who turns out to be her next-door neighbor. 

I have read and reviewed several of Hyde's books and have always enjoyed them. They are somewhat formulaic in their plot and in their message of "hope." Hyde's love of animals shines through her books and in this particular one; Sarah's horse Midnight is key to the story. While reading this book, I was reminded of Allie and Bea, that same feeling of friendship, trust, and there are good people in the world. My favorite of hers is Heaven Adjacent; it was so relatable for me. When you are looking for a feel good book that you know will end well, Hyde is the author for you.
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This is a beautifully written novel about family and love and helping other people when you can. It's about a woman and a teenager with major problems that learn to help each other understand their lives and search for happier times. 

Faith has left her mentally and psychological abusive husband and is hiding in her parents cottage on the Pacific shore. Sarah is a 14 year old girl, living with her grandmother and hiding from her father after the suspicious death of her mother. They meet and seem to recognize the need in each other. Sarah's grandmother asks Faith to take Sarah somewhere while she works to get custody. They go to the horse farm where her beloved horse - Midnight - is stabled. Her father had jut sold Midnight to pay his gambling debts which further devastates Sarah. Sarah and Midnight have a strong bond and he preforms dressage with her better than with anyone so she starts helping (reluctantly) the man who bought Midnight. As the summer continues, Faith and Sarah both realize that they are stronger than they thought - but are they strong enough to face the people who brought them so much pain??

The characters are wonderful and well written - as with all of Catherine Ryan Hyde's characters. The reader is pulled into their lives and emotions and I can promise a few tears along their journeys. Along with a great story with believable characters, there is a lot of information about horses and dressage and the horse show circuits. I loved it.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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Faith and Sarah are traveling to avoid Sarah’s father.  Sarah witnessed him killing her mother.  The authorities believe the death to be suicide and Sarah is the only one who can establish otherwise.  Faith has finally left her verbally abusive husband and is unsure of what he may be capable of.  She is attempting to avoid any contact with him.

I enjoyed this book.  It was an easy read and could be tackled in a weekend.  I always like books written by this author but felt a couple of things could be explained better.  Why did Catherine allow Sarah to leave with a virtual stranger.  Why did Faith allow Sarah to make all of the decisions for the two of them if she was in genuine danger.  The avenue of Faith’s husband was underdeveloped and, therefore, did not seem to be a reality.  

I enjoyed the relationship between Faith and Sarah.  It makes us hope that strangers of differing ages can become close friends.  

I was delighted by the details of the sport dressage.  I knew virtually nothing of the sport before reading this book.  As Faith learned more about dressage and horses in general, the reader does also.  The bond between Midnight and Sarah is well written and can be clearly felt.

This is a good book even with the concerns expressed above.  I suggest this book for fans of Catherine Ryan Hyde and as an introduction to the author for others.


I received an eBook ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way affects my opinions or ratings of this book.
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I received an advanced readers digital copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and unbiased opinion. A positive review was not required.

I love books by Catherine Ryan Hyde, they never fail to move and entertain me.  Just After Midnight was no exception.  The writing was stellar, the plot grabbed me from the first page. I loved the characters. true
The story left me with all the feel goods and shows true friendship can come in many forms. I fully recommend reading this one, but with tissue in hand.
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Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Just After Midnight.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

After having enough of her husband's borderline abuse, Faith decides to escape to the safety of the California beach house that belongs to her parents.  There she meets fourteen year old Sarah and her grandmother, who have escaped to the beach for their own reasons.  Without meaning to become involved in the complicated family issues between Sarah and her father, Faith ends up providing support for the young girl and helps herself in the process.  Will helping the girl get the closure she needs give Faith a reason to stand on her own two feet?

Just After Midnight was a good book, but certainly not a blockbuster hit.  The biggest issue that I had was regarding the setting, as the author really never captures the Southern California towns that are mentioned numerous times in the book.  Having lived in one of the towns mentioned, the author just seemed to throw out the names and did not give any of the characteristics that make the area unique.  Just After Midnight seemed to follow a formula, which did not allow for the characters to grow or change in any meaningful way.  The ending was too easy and I found it hard to believe that anyone without means would have done what Faith did.  It was a good story, but the author missed the opportunity to make it a great one.
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I love this author. She never disappoints. I look for her books all the time. She creates these characters that you just fall in love with. I highly recommend her. You will be in for a treat.
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I have previously read, enjoyed and reviewed several books by Catherine Ryan Hyde, the first was Say Goodbye for Now back in December of 2015 (see review HERE), next was Ask Him Why back in January of 2016 (see review HERE), and then next was Allie and Bea in July of 2017 (see review HERE).  When I saw today's book, Just After Midnight  I knew I couldn't go wrong, so I requested the opportunity to read and review it with NetGalley, and I was approved!

There's Faith, who is in the process of divorcing her mentally abusive husband, and there's Sarah, a 14 year old girl who accuses her father for the death of her mother.  These two unlikely people meet on the beach in front of the house at which Faith is temporarily staying. Sarah and her grandmother, Constance are at their rented beach house because her grandmother brought her there to try to help her get over some of the heartbreak, and to get her away from her father. 

If you are an animal lover, especially a horse lover, you'll love this book. You'll read about Sarah’s magical relationship with her horse, Midnight and the special bond between them. I really enjoyed following as Faith helped Sarah through her grief and pain while at the same time she was able to find the ability to be strong for herself. 

We met a lot of interesting people along the way, and we are able to tour a lot of the west coast throughout this story.  I was also very pleased with the ending of Just After Midnight.  Catherine Ryan Hyde is a very powerful story teller and this story remains unforgettable as I put fingers to keys a month after finishing the book. Her writing is superb and the characters are very well written.  Thank you for another great story Ms. Hyde!

I received an advanced readers digital copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and unbiased opinion. A positive review was not required.
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This is a beautifully written story of surviving  domestic abuse, starting over and forming strong female friendships while finding personal freedom. I found this book so delightful and it is a pleasure to read a book so heartwarming and compassionate. The author is a favorite of mine and i was thrilled to receive this book for review. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the ARC. My opinion is my own. 

This is a story of two women, Sarah a teenager and Faith, a woman in her late thirties.  After Faith moves to her family beach house to escape her abusive husband she meets Sarah, a teenager also escaping domestic abuse after the suspicious death of her Mother.  When Sarah's family attempts to take her back, Faith and Sarah go on a journey to find Sarah's beloved dressage mare Midnight. Her abusive Father sold off her horse to pay off gambling debts. They follow Midnight through the California dressage show circuit and through this experience they  meet some lovely people who provide healing. Their friendship grows stronger and the respect they both have for each other as survivors grows as they bond on their trip. Midnight is a magnificent horse and they bond through Sarah's love for him and hope that she can be reunited with her horse. 

This is a beautifully written story of starting over, survival from abuse and learning to trust again. The author writes from her heart of this book with  remarkable stories of two broken souls learning to live their life over , of the love for a great horse and the drive to be with him, and  for the freedom of the soul when free from abuse to live life fully again. I loved this book and do highly recommend it for your reading enjoyment.   It touched my heart and I read it cover to cover. Very well done to the author. 



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