Cover Image: Dreaming of Flight

Dreaming of Flight

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I find there's something quite delightful about reading Catherine Ryan Hyde's novels.   I've lost count now of the number I've read -  certainly nowhere near the forty she's written - but enough to establish a pattern of success.   Her stories are heart warming and she often introduces a moral dilemma or some kind of contentious issue.   Not only that but I fall for her characters each and every time.   

In <b>Dreaming of Flight<b> the main characters were Stewie, a young boy, and Marilyn, an elderly lady.  Stewie, was a lovely boy who had lost both parents as an infant so his Grandmother raised he and his two siblings.   It was clear from his mannerisms, the way he spoke and behaved that he'd been raised by someone from  an earlier generation.   Stewie was an extremely literal fellow, very kind, reliable and wise beyind his years, but he was not a happy young man.    In fact he was permanently sad because his beloved Gran had recently died and he was finding it hard to come to terms with this latest loss.    
In an effort to contribute to the family finances Stewies sold the eggs his hens produced.  One day while selling eggs Stewie met Marilyn.   Her gruff, unfriendly, almost abrasive manner, didn't put Stewie off.   In fact he found he was drawn to her for her resemblence to his Gran.  Undeterred by her initial attitude Stewie soon learnt Marilyn had issues of her own.  Unable to stop himself when it came to helping or protecting others Stewie took it upon himself to regularly check in on Marilyn. Before too long he'd chipped away her gruff exterior and they developed a wonderful friendship.    

This was a story of love and loss, of grief and friendship.   It spoke to the desperate measures one will take to preserve a sense of self and independence when age and health issues work against you.  It was about gratitude and finding positives in the most unlikely situations.    One might have expected the young boy to pick up a few life lessons from his elderly friend, and perhaps he did too, but it was far from one sided as Stewie dished out some pearls of wisdom that made him a much loved little guy by all who met him, and I'm sure to all readers of this charming book.

My thanks to the author, to Lake Union Publishing and to NetGalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review which it was my pleasure to provide.
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‘But you wake something up in people. You remind them we can do better at getting along. You can be just a regular, real person and still be the magic somebody else needs in her life. We do it for each other all the time. It’s that everyday sort of magic. We’re all capable of it, I do believe, but still you don’t always see people living up to that potential.” 

This quote is just an example of the beauty contained in this book. Stewie is grieving the loss of his Gam and makes an unlikely friendship with an older lady Marilyn/Jean. Through their friendship Stewie’s life becomes much more full. I think Stewie is one of my favourite characters of this year so far. He is so serious but so dear that you can’t help to love him.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy of this book.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde does it again with a beautifully written story that captures your heart and soul.  The beauty of her novels is that her characters are flawed but can still find a way to live an extraordinary life. 

Stewie Little’s parents died when he was wrong, so he never really knew them enough to miss them.  He currently being raised by his older sister and lives with her and his brother.  Stewie’s grandmother recently passed away and as a tribute to her, he has taken on raising her chickens. Part of that responsibility includes selling the eggs in his neighborhood.

Through this endeavor, Stewie meets a new neighbor, Marilyn.  She is difficult and gruff and appears to have some memory problems.  However, she connects with Stewie and seems to understand him and his grief.  Stewie and Marilyn’s relationship is an interesting one that leads Stewie down a path that expands his circle of relationships.  

Stewie is an extremely sensitive boy who feels more than the average person and struggles to cope with the world.  Through his relationship with Marilyn and his new friends, we see Stewie grow and develop.

Thank you NetGally for an ARC of Dreaming of Flight by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  Opinions are completely my own.
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This was a very typical Catherine Ryan Hyde read meaning that I loved it as usual. I just love her matter=of-fact characters that immediately fill you with empathy and understanding for their life circumstances, even if they are much different than your own. I loved this book and will continue to put each of CRH's new books on my TBH.

I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Twelve year old Stewie Little tends to his deceased grandma's flock of chickens, and makes daily deliveries of the "freshest eggs in town" to supplement the family income. When he meets elderly Marilyn, he's reminded of his beloved grandma because this lady is crotchety just like her. He wants to get to know her better. And so the story begins. As their unique personality flaws are explored and secrets are revealed, a very special relationship is formed. 

This is another winner by one of my favorite authors. It's a little slow at first, but you can't help but fall in love with the characters. It's a story full of life lessons, sly humor, and self discovery.  Be warned that along your reading journey, a few tears could be shed, At least there were for me. 

Thanks NetGalley and publisher for the chance to read and review this book. And thank you Catherine Ryan Hyde for your talent.
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This was another amazing ride by Catherine Ryan Hyde! I love the relationship Stewie has with his chickens and unique family unit. He's a sweet, special young man that I think all of you will adore as well! The trials he goes through are realistic and you will find yourself wanting to reach into the pages and help, at least to give the lil guy a hug! I eagerly await her next book, 5 stars as always!!

Thanks netgalley for giving me the advanced pdf so that I can share my thoughts and opinions with y'all 🧡
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I received an arc copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. Even though the first half of this book was slow moving and I almost gave up on it, the second half was better. It was a cute story about a boy with no parents who befriends an elderly woman.
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I always enjoy Catherine Ryan Hyde’s writing and this tale works it’s way into your heart. The main character is Stewie, a young person who has had a lot of loss in his young life and he seems to feel things more deeply than those around him. Stewie meets Marilyn while selling eggs. She reminds Stewie of his own grandmother who has passed. The two develop a camaraderie that is sweet and sincere.. Apoignant story of coping with loss and found family.
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Stewart Little sells eggs and takes care of the chickens that belonged to his grandmother. He is being raised by his sister who is struggling to go to nursing school and work at night to care for Stewart and Theo his brother who has a disability. They are a small but close-knit family. Stewart, ever the great salesman encounters Marilyn on his route and the journey to a new reality begins for him. She is outspoken like his grandmother and not always likable but the two form a bond that changes the future and life's realities for Stewart. "Hens struggle to fly, they do some but not always very high but they keep trying." Struggling with the personal loss that he has not dealt with, Stewart finds a new friend, learns to overcome the harshness of existence, and learns his own strengths. This is a book worth reading. Stewart's family characters are real, as are those he encounters along the way. It is applicable to all as the hen's journey to flight is what we all experience. A true coming-of-age book. You will love Stewart. Thanks to #NetGalley#Dreamingofflight.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde is my favorite writer in the whole world, I've read most of her books, and every time there is a new story I just can't help and get very excited because I know I'm going to be transported to a very fantastic world. 

This is the case for Dreaming of flight what a beautiful moving story and the characters were as always full of depth ready to be unleashed. the story of a family who is not complete at least that's how Stewie feels like he is missing his mother, and grandparents, and let's not talk about a father whom he doesn't really know what that means. 

Stewie is a young boy (sorry Stewie I know you like to be old) who is kind and very mindful of the life and situation he and his brother and sister are in. He sells eggs around town to help his sister to support the income of the house, his brother can't help as he wishes as he has some disability that impedes him to contribute. 

I laugh so hard whenever Stewie got angry that someone guesses his age incorrectly lol it was hilarious 

Stewie's neighbor Marylin becomes a great friend for Stewie, she was hiding her past and certain things that she did and wasn't really proud about but life and circumstance will determine a better ending for this situation.

I really love this book so much because it touches on many things that I felt very close to home, the way Stewie defines what family is, is beautiful, one of my favorite moments of the story is when Stewie lectures Marylin's daughter about the importance of family, the importance to stay in touch and not forget about her mother I literally was in tears to hear such a beautiful statement, he was very right to tell her that she should care and not forget as he wishes he had the opportunity she had to have a mother in his life. 

Dreaming of flight is a book of hope, family values, and union, it is a story that will bring so much to your heart, and to tell you the truth it opened up my eyes so much about my relationship with my own parents so Thank you miss Catherine your books are always a balm for my heart and soul I ways feel like I'm in a movie watching all these characters coming alive.

Stewie is a very sensible kid who sees more than any adult around him, who feels intensely and has a heart of gold. 

in love over and over again with this book.

Thank you, NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced copy of Dreaming of Flight in exchange for my honest review.
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I love reading Catherine Ryan Hyde's wonderful, feel good about humanity novels, and this one is just as great. An unusual friendship between a 12-year-old boy, and an older, grumpy woman, which reminds him of his late grandmother, just captured my heart. The sensitivity and fulfilling each other's voids was delicately woven through this story, as well as caring for chickens, making egg deliveries, great values, nursing home relationships, and a family of a sister raising her younger siblings. Heartfelt through and through! Thank you NetGalley, the author and publisher for the early release copy. All opinions are my own.
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This is a touching novel but it starts out very slowly and methodically laying the ground work for the engaging second half of the book. I had to force myself to read through the first half but found the second half captivating. I could not discern the plot in the first half but found a number of life lessons in the second half. Had I edited this book, I would have suggested cutting down the foundation laying part, the first half, and expanding the life lesson part, the second half.

The story revolved around Stewie, an eleven year old boy, meeting Marilyn, a grouchy woman who reminds Stewie of the grandmother who had recently died. They form an unusual relationship. That relationship doesn't move much in the first half of the book but blossoms into life lessons in the second half. Stewie puzzled me. Though a very nice and polite boy, he acted much younger than is age. I would have thought him on the spectrum but we are never told that. Marilyn hides a secret. We get hints as to this secret and when the truth bursts on the scene half way through the book, that's when the book became interesting to me.

There are a number of good life lessons explored in the second half of the book. Stewie has to learn that he cannot fix everyone's problem, for example. We also get good examples of what is possible when people are encouraged to see if they can get along just a little bit better. The lessons culminate at the end of the novel, an expected ending, one you just knew was coming, yet emotionally rewarding.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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Dreaming of Flight by Catherine Hyde Ryan is a gentle story of a parentless boy who befriends an older woman who is showing the beginning signs of dementia. She isn't looking for a friend, but he worms his way in. He feels responsible, well, for everyone and everything. She forgot to get a pan of bacon off the stove. That's what started it and from that time a friendship grew. He was caring for her. He had a sister and a brother, and he had a grandmother, until recently. He took over his grandmother's chickens . . . no one else wanted them, and now he sells the eggs after school. That's when they met. His eggs were expensive, but they were good. Even she had to agree. 

This is a story about grief, and about belonging and friendship. It's a good story about the way things used to be, and maybe, still are, somewhere. His sister thinks he needs psychiatric care because he feels so much, and takes responsibility. He thinks he's fine. So do many other people. The vet treats his chicken for nothing-she's dying of old age. Not much to be done. It made me yearn for the past, when people were no in such a hurry and took time to care for their neighbors. It touched my heart. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Dreaming of Flight by Lake Union, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #lakeunion #catherinehyderyan #dreamingofflight
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This is a sweet, coming-of-age, young adult book about 11-year-old Stewie. He is a very logical, straight forward young man, and takes life very seriously.

Stewie’s parents were killed when he was a baby, and thereafter his “Gam” raised him and his sister and brother. However, Gam has recently passed away and Stewie’s sister, Stacey is doing everything she can, as a nurse, to support her two brothers and herself.

Stewie misses his Gam very much and is taking care of, and is very attached to, her chickens.  He has an egg route on which he is proud to sell “fresh” eggs to the neighbors. When, one day, he comes upon a new family on his route, the elderly lady living there reminds him so much of Gam that he becomes attached to her; even though he knows it’s not really Gam.  

After Stewie and “Marilyn” begin to become acquainted, the action really begins. Marilyn has a past of her own and it comes with some trouble, with which Stewie becomes involved. By the end Stewie has learned a lot about himself and about life: some things can be changed and some things just have to be accepted. But Stewie does find the love he has been so craving, and it is a very satisfying read!  I highly recommend it!

I'd like to thank NetGalley, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my unbiased review.
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Dreaming of Flight, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, is (yet another) story of a young boy struggling with adversity, adults, and the injuries of life.  I am astounded at the author’s ability to create so many different tales of children transitioning into adulthood.  Equally amazing is her acute understanding and respect for the children and young people she creates.  To be clear, these are not young adult stories…these are novels that have young people at their center but with very adult themes.  Her cast of supporting characters is also diverse, and each is finely nuanced.  
This compelling novel is about a boy who has lost so much in his short life that he is moved to help, care, and protect those he meets.  As is often the case when reading a book by this prolific writer, I cried at the end, sorry to say goodbye to characters I had come to love.

This is the perfect book when you want a little reassurance that the world we live in has good and deserving people!  Thanks so much to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read a digital ARC.  It was my joy.
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This is a heartwarming novel about the unlikely friendship between an eleven-year-old boy and a woman who reminds him of his recently deceased grandmother. It explores themes of grief, aging, and found family. 

This was a quick, easy read for me, and I thought the friendship between Stewie and Marilyn was sweet. Marilyn's whole story was sadly very true-to-life and reminded me of my own grandmother in many ways. While I liked this book overall though, it just left me wanting more. It felt overly generic at times and could have benefitted from a bit more personality. Many of the characters were very one note and even the setting was nondescript and could have been Anywhere, USA.
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Dreaming of Flight
Dreaming of Flight by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Dreaming of Flight
by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Goodreads Author)
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*'s reviewMay 05, 2022  ·  edit
really liked it
bookshelves: 2022, 2022-netgalley-challenge, 4-star, contemporary-fiction, death-and-dying, slice-of-life

EXCERPT: 'I agreed to read it to him. And then I said we could go over it word by word and see what words he knows and what ones he doesn't.'

'Excellent!' The principal clapped her hands together, startling Marilyn. 'That could make such a difference. I feel very optimistic now.'

Clearly a great weight had been lifted off the principal's shoulders. Marilyn had lifted it away. And it had been dropped squarely onto her own.

They both stood, an agreement that the meeting was ending.

'No good deed goes unpunished,' she thought as she stepped into the outer office. Somehow it had fallen to her not only to teach the boy to read, but to heal his traumatic life. And all she had wanted was to buy a few cartons of unusually fresh eggs.

ABOUT 'DREAMING OF FLIGHT': Never knowing his parents, eleven-year-old Stewie Little and his brother have been raised on a farm by their older sister. Stewie steadfastly tends the chickens left by his beloved late grandmother. And every day Stewie goes door to door selling fresh eggs from his wagon—a routine with a surprise just around the corner. It’s his new customer, Marilyn. She’s prickly and guarded, yet comfortably familiar—she reminds the grieving Stewie so much of the grandmother he misses more than he can express.

Marilyn has a reason for keeping her distance: a secret no one knows about. Her survival tactic is to draw a line between herself and other people—one that Stewie is determined to cross. As their visits become more frequent, a complicated but deeply rooted relationship grows. That’s when Stewie discovers how much more there is to Marilyn, to her past, and to challenges that become more pressing each day. But whatever difficult times lie ahead, Stewie learns that although he can’t fix everything for Marilyn or himself, at least he’s no longer alone.

MY THOUGHTS: A sweet and touching story that has almost a timeless feel to it. Dreaming of Flight is a gentle tale that moves along at a slow pace (and that's not a criticism), one that focuses on feelings rather than technology and action.

Stewie is an odd but loveable boy. He is grieving the loss of his beloved 'Gam', who raised him from a baby along with his older brother and sister following the death of his parents in an accident. He struggles with school and his only friends are his late grandmother's hens, all of whom have names and distinct personalities.

Marilyn is an irascible older woman who cares for the daughter of a single mother in return for free room and board. Prickly and remote, she doesn't have a filter on her mouth and whatever she is thinking tends to pop out. She reminds Stewie of his Gam, who wasn't always the nicest
woman, and this keeps drawing him back to her.

The two form a wary friendship. But over time the bonds strengthen and deepen.

Dreaming of Flight is a quick and easy read. The relationship between the characters is complex, but is written about in a simple way. I enjoyed both the characters of Stewie and Marilyn and thought that CRHs depiction of them was perfectly drawn.

While I really enjoyed this book for myself, it could certainly also be used for tweens dealing with the death of a loved one


#DreamingofFlight #NetGalley

I: @catherineryanhyde @amazonpublishing

T: @cryanhyde @AmazonPub

#contemporaryfiction #deathanddying #sliceoflife

THE AUTHOR: I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books. I'm an avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Dreaming of Flight by Catherine Ryan-Hyde for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinion.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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Dreaming of Flight by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a very nice story dealing about grief. I think it is probably the cutest story I have ever read dealing with grief. I love the approach in the story.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde is a prolific writer, known for feel good stories with a message. I read 4 other books by her before this one, two of which were 3 stars and the other two were 4 stars. I don’t always rush to read a new one by her because sometimes they are a little too sappy and a little too predictable for my tastes, but when I need a feel good, heartwarming story or a story of people who need each other and connect in beautiful ways, a CRH book is the place to go. 

Eleven year old Stewie Little cares too much . He cares about his hens and that he delivers fresh eggs to his customers, about his older brother Theo who is disabled, about his Gam who has passed away. He wants to solve every problem of everyone close to him.  All of which make the reader care about this thoughtful, grieving boy who holds a secret. He comes to care about Marilyn, whom he meets when delivering eggs. She reminds him of his Gam and as their relationship grows, we learn that she also has a secret. The book description tells you more than I will about the plot. 

I’ll just say that the novel did not disappoint. I’m almost always partial to books from the point of view of young narrators who are wiser at times than adults and pretty much always steal my heart. Stewie definitely stole my heart in his part of the narrative as did Marilyn. Two lost, lonely people connecting with one another, especially at a time when they most needed each other made me cry multiple times, but at times the tears were not only for sadness. While it was predictable and yes a little sappy, I’m giving it 4 stars because it was the right book at the right time for me.

I received a copy of this book  from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley
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Stewart Little is eleven years old, he lives with his older sister Stacey and brother Theo. Stewie’s parents died in a motorcycle crash when he was a baby, his Gam raised her three grandchildren on her farm near Lake View and she passed away a year ago. Stewie looks after his grandmothers hens, he collects the eggs and sells them fresh to his local customer’s every day. Stewie is silently grieving for his Gam, his way of coping is to care for her flock of chickens and he gives Stacey a percentage of his egg money. 

One day he notices a run-down house, he has some eggs left and he knocks on the door. Marilyn a grumpy older lady buys a carton of eggs, she reminds Stewie of his grandmother and he’s not put off by her attitude. Marilyn has a reason for her being distant and rude, she’s in hiding and her memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be. 

Marilyn discovers Stewie has a secret of his own, she offers to help him and they become friends. When Marilyn’s past catches up with her, Stewie is determined to help his friend and he does. Stewie visits Marilyn, he brings her eggs, he meets the other residents at Eastbridge and it does wonders for his confidence.

I received a copy of Dreaming of Flight from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. A coming of age story about friendship, love, loss, aging, the cycle of life and ways of dealing with grief. Stewie has the kindest heart, sweetest spirit, I wanted to give him a big hug and be his friend. Catherine Ryan Hyde has a brilliant way of writing, I cared about the characters in her stories and I feel close to them and and five stars from me.
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