Cover Image: Seven Perfect Things

Seven Perfect Things

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Member Reviews

If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our pets are as much part of the family as their human counterparts, and as this story shows, the dogs are a great deal better behaved! The blurb tells us from the start that the puppies have been dumped in a sack in the river (can I get a boo hiss for the hoomans that did this!!!), so we have to be prepared for a tale of survival, a battle against the odds and a whole lot of love, bemusement and shenanigans to follow.

So, to the story …

After rescuing seven puppies from the river, refusing to leave them at the pound where their future is more than uncertain, and knowing her father will not allow her to take them home, Abby traipses up to a unoccupied cabin nearby to care for them. Buying food and water for them with what little money she has, Abby is determined her puppies will survive. She rushes out of the house each morning to check on them, and again after school, keeping them secret from her dad, although she did tell her mum about them … just maybe not all the facts.

Since school is about to break for summer, she reckons she can spend more time with them while looking for new homes to take them in (she does this with the best of intentions not realising how much she has already grown to love the puppers).

For a couple of days, she copes – helped by some money from her mum (who has guessed from the paw prints on her clothes and her late hours that Abby still has the dogs somewhere). Abby and her mother live in fear of upsetting her father, which makes her mum all the more determined to let Abby have her secret knowing that she is of an age where being responsible for something other than herself will be a valuable lesson.

But, then the owner of the cabin arrives …

Recently widowed, Elliot arrives at his cabin for some alone time, only to find the cabin has been broken into and much of his stuff stolen( not by Abby, I hasten to add). Added to that, when checking out his generator – no longer there – in the shed, he finds Abby’s puppies and a pile of smelly newspaper.

When he takes the same trip as Abby to the pound, the staff member recognises the pups and is sorry to see them again. Elliot cannot leave them to their fate, so he returns to his cabin to find a distressed Abby looking for her dogs. And so begins their relationship which, while it has a rocky start, soon becomes focused on the puppies’ wellbeing. If anything, Abby’s presence stops Elliot from sinking into depression, and instead he is cheered by the antics of the playful seven.

But it can’t go on like that. Elliot will have to leave his cabin eventually, and Abby needs to find homes for the dogs. However, by then the two are firm friends and come up with a plan to look after the puppies which just so happens to also take into consideration Abby’s home life and her mother’s unhappy marriage.

The struggle is real and their plan falls apart early on when Abby’s father decides he’s in charge of his family and “takes” them away. With no way of contacting Elliot, it seems Abby may never see her puppies or Elliot again.

An emotionally-charged story that will keep you reading through to the end to see how things work out.
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Sweet book. This is perfect for a sunny day at the beach. I throughly enjoyed it.
I would recommend it.
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Wow, I blazed through this one, literally started reading at 11 in the morning and was finished after dinner. And I'm going to be very unoriginal and give this yet another 5 stars, like I do for most books by Catherine Ryan Hyde, because they're just that awesome.

This story involves seven perfect puppies, as per the title, a really mature and cool teenager (loved her), her mother who's in an abusive marriage, and a really really decent man who has just been widowed. The rest is in the book itself, and it's way more fun if you read it than if I tell you! Suffice it to say, the author touches on the same important subjects she often talks about in her books - domestic violence, the will and courage to allow yourself to say no, compassion for living beings and dealing with grief. And above all of it - kindness. There's always kindness!

I was on the edge of my seat reading this one. Especially a sore subject for me, (view spoiler) So I was reading the book with sweaty palms. As usual in her stories, Ms. Hyde is brilliant with building tension and keeping you flipping the pages fast. You just want to know what happens.

And then there are the puppies. The book reminded me of this book called Atticus: A Woman’s Journey with the World’s Worst Behaved Dog a little bit! How the power of DOG changes people's lives for the better (lol). There should be more wholesome stories with dogs, where NOTHING. HAPPENS. TO. THE. DOGS!!! (Everyone always asks. This book is safe to read!)

Anyway, not a very coherent review this time, but you should definitely read the book!

Thank you Catherine Ryan Hyde, for writing these stories. They are important, they are also uplifting and so emotional. I'm so happy your books exist.

I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.
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Seven Perfect Things
By Catherine Ryan Hyde

An Immensely Satisfying Story of a Teenager’s Courage and Perseverance

When thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble spies a man dump a moving burlap bag into the river, she immediately dives in and rescues seven puppies.  But now what?  She knows that her father would never let her bring them home and the animal shelter is already full.  Instead she takes them to a nearby abandoned cabin, and promises them that she’ll be back the next day to feed them.

Elliot Colvin has just lost his wife.  After her funeral, he retreats to his long-neglected hunting cabin and finds Abby and her seven puppies hiding in his shed. Abby and Elliot become friends and Abby begins to imagine how nice her life would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her emotionally abusive father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide if they are willing to defer happiness.

Who can resist puppies!  Abby Hubble reminds us to find joy in the small things, like the warmth of a puppy’s pudgy belly or the thump of a wagging tail. Seven Perfect Things is a charming and poignant story of friendship, joy and courage. 

Author Catherine Ryan Hyde has delivered another tender and triumphant story.  This time it is about a teenager and her mother overcoming difficulties and finding the courage to choose happiness. The puppies may draw you in but the the writing keeps your head in the book. The characters are realistic and the story is filled with tension. Hyde’s writing is easy on the eyes and immensely satisfying.

Hyde, a best selling author, has written 39 additional heart warming books like this one.  Her most popular, Pay It Forward (2000) was made into a movie and chosen by the American Library Association among the Best Books for Young Adults. 

Thanks to NetGalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. 

Publisher    Lake Union
Published   May 4, 2021
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Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Catherine Ryan Hyde for allowing me to read the ARC of Seven Perfect Things for an honest review.
When Elliot looses his wife, he just wants to be alone in their country cabin, arriving to find it has been robbed and has a big surprise in his shed. He soon meets thirteen-year-old Abby, who is shocked to find someone in the cabin which has been abandoned for over three years. All she wants is space from her angry father, peace for her mother, and what she left in Elliot’s shed.  This story is full of finding trust, happiness, and love in many different places. I love Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books. I always have a smile, a warm feeling, and hope that I may be of some hope to others.
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Seven puppies are saved from certain death after being tied up in a bag and thrown into a river. Abby, an accomplished swimmer, dives in to save them and makes it her mission to care for them in a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods as she knows they will be put down if brought to her dysfunctional home. Enter the cabin owner, Elliot, a recent widower, showing up at just the perfect time, forming an unlikely bond in this uplifting transformative story.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde really knows how to write a story that draws you in and pulls at your heartstrings. I have loved all six of her books I’ve read. This may be my favorite. Seven adorable puppies, a grieving widower, and a mother and daughter in need of help make for a compelling read.  I loved all three of the main characters, but thirteen year old Abby may be my favorite. She is a strong and determined young lady who gets the whole story going by jumping in the river to rescue a bag full of puppies she saw a man throw in to drown them. The story moves quickly from there to a wonderfully satisfying ending.
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Abby Hubble is on her way home from school, so when she sees a man behaving suspiciously on the brow of a bridge, she watches what he is doing. She sees him get a sack out of his car and throw it into the gushing river. Abby doesn’t hesitate as he drives away. She looks down into the river and sees movement within the sack. She has the feeling that the thrashing within the sack is something alive. Abby is thirteen years old but she attends swimming club and is a very strong swimmer She doesn’t need to think about what she should do. Without hesitation she dives into the river and rescues seven adorable puppies. It is love at first sight for Abby, but she knows she cannot take the litter home. Her Dad is mean spirited and domineering. He always has the last word and he would be furious with Abby if she took them home. So, leaving her kit behind, she trudges with the pups to the Dog’s Home, hoping they will be able find homes for the puppies only to find that it is full to the brim. Unable to bear the thought of her puppies being euthanized, Abby walks up the foothills of the Sierra Nevada until she reaches a disused and burgled cabin. She knows it has been deserted for a long time. There she leaves the dogs in the shed, making them as comfortable as she can. Soon she will have to start looking for new owners.
Unknown to Abby, the cabin’s recently widowed owner Elliot Colvin is at a crossroads in his life. He has nursed his wife through a long, terrible illness and recently she has lost the battle to live. Elliot has not been to his hunting cabin for a number of years, but has decided to go there to hide away from his friends and neighbours and give himself time to grieve and decide what to do with his life. He is in no hurry to go back to work and has taken compassionate leave. He drives up from the city to relax in his hunting lodge and recuperate. He is saddened to see that he has been burgled and his most valuable items stored in the shed have gone. Inside he sees the frightened puppies and wonders what the deuce has been going on. When Abby turns up to feed and clean up after the puppies Elliot is soon persuaded to help her in her quest to rehome the puppies. Elliot and Abby become good friends and this is their story, and what a lovely story it is.
I have always admired Catherine Ryan Hyde’s stories for both children and adults. She is a prolific writer with many books in her back catalogue, nearly all of them read by me. Her storytelling skills are absolutely top notch. Her characterisations are second to none. You will feel empathy or hatred for them and your relationship with the fictitious characters will feel real and meaningful. You will worry about their decisions and their predicaments. Catherine knows how to pull at your heartstrings. She is the mistress of empathy and creates wonderful stories full of contemporary issues. This story tells of a broken family and their desire for peace and happiness. She builds solid relationships based on friendship and mutual trust. Her stories are always relevant and thought provoking and this novel is amongst her very best.
I received this excellent and moving novel through my membership of NetGalley and from publisher Lake Union Publishing, in return for an honest and unbiased review. This is my 4.5* review. All the opinions are my own with no influence from other parties. ‘Seven Perfect Things’ is going to go on my list of recommendations as highly readable and a real page turner.
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After Abby watches a man toss a bag into the river, she knows she must pull the bag out especially, because the bag is moving. When she finds seven puppies, she knows she can’t bring them home. Her verbally abusive father will never let her keep them. What follows is a story of love and friendship.

Abby’s father, Stan, is a jerk, and not just to her. Her mother, Mary, wants to leave, but it’s hard for a non-working parent to save up to get out of a tough situation. Compiled with Abby’s desire to keep these puppies, they’re both low-key fighting for something good. I liked Elliot from the moment we meet him. He’s going through something incredibly hard, but his compassion shines through.

I love to read Ryan Hyde’s books because they make you feel good. There’s always the right amount of angst or problems that arise that have you cheering on the characters when good things happen. Seven Perfect Things is a touching read. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing, for sending this along.
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I love the way that Catherine Ryan Hyde write's her stories grab your attention and keep it which for me is sometimes difficult !
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My only criticism is that I wish the book were longer. I got so enveloped in the characters and the situations that I kept reading and then it was over. I always love Catherine Ryan Hyde’s work. There is never one formula or type of book. Her characters are always well developed and you become attached. This book really hooked into my love of animals and I loved the thought that you can’t be unhappy when puppies are scampering all over you. It is so true. I would definitely recommend this book.
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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.
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Warm, lovely story of sadness relieved by man's best friend(s)🐶🐕

I loved this story and especially brave, determined young Abby.  The whole scenario, with a new widower dealing with loneliness and grief and Abby's unhappy home, made for a compelling tale and a page-turner.  I certainly can understand why author Catherine Ryan Hyde has so many fans.  I have a definite weakness for family dramas that tug at the heartstrings and Seven Perfect Things moved me.

And as to the lovely puppies that Abby rescues and adopts, they inject pure living-in-the-moment joy for Abby, Mary and Eliot, three characters in need of some spontaneous happiness.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book;  this is my voluntary and honest review.
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Puppies! Being a dog lover, that’s what brought this book to my attention, along with the fact that Catherine Ryan Hyde has yet to deliver a book that I didn’t enjoy. This is a refreshing, quick, and easy read, although it does deal with some of the harsh realities of life, such as death, loneliness, and abuse. The characters are likable and relatable and this story will keep you both engaged and entertained. I would recommend this book to my friends and I thank NetGalley for the advance read copy.
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I can't say enough about this book! If you love dogs, you'll be sucked in immediately by the adorable cover. This book is full of friendship, suspense, and everything in between. The bond the young girl immediately has with these puppies just melts my heart. This was a new to me author, and I've read several of her books, with each one even better than the last!
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Puppies on the cover, along with the name Catherine Ryan Hyde, for me, was an absolute must-request!

We follow Abby, Abby's mom and Elliott, in this story about love, connection, healing. And all thanks to these cute pups. 

This was so easy to get through, like gliding on ice or glass. I felt it was written to be one of those books you take with you to your porch and read in the evenings, while the sun is setting and you're cooling off, fighting off mosquitos at the same time, unable to get up and go inside, because you're enjoying so much. 

This was a fun, light read, and whoever loves animals, and stories about animals and our connection to them will devour this one.
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Thanks NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Catherine Ryan Hyde for an ARC to review.
I can't describe how much I loved this enchanting book. I would have given it more than 5 stars if I could! 
I am on a mission to read the whole titles provided by Catherine Ryan Hyde after reading this heart touching excellent book. 
loved it!
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A touching story! Always a well written story from Catherine Ryan Hyde. People helping others in tough times.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
Thank to NetGalley and the publisher for making this book available to read. 
This is a quick and uplifting story about the difficult choices people have to make in their lives. I was glad that the author highlighted some caring and generous men, not only villainous ones. 
The addition of the puppies made this book all the sweeter, and I'm glad it ended like it did, being open to possibilities. 
Kudos to the strong people that have to endure living that way everyday. Hopefully they get out like Mary did. 
3.5 stars
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Abby, a 13 year old girl finds seven puppies, dumped in a river. Her mum, Mary,  is in an unhappy marriage and Elliott, a recent widower has a cabin in the woods. Weave a perfect story around this and it's sure to be a good one! I read this in one sitting and it left me feeling warm and fuzzy. A lovely simple tale of love, hope and happiness which I would recommend. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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