Cover Image: So Long, Chester Wheeler

So Long, Chester Wheeler

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Member Reviews

I loved this book.  I can't believe it was in my TBR pile for so long.  Chester is a grumpy mean old man who is dying of cancer.  He has chased away every health care worker his daughter has hired.  Chester's neighbor is a gay younger man who has lost his job and his boyfriend.  The fact that said boyfriend wiped out their joint savings account makes Lewis desperate for a job.  Since he lives close by he reluctantly agrees to help out Chester's daughter.  Chester convinces Lewis to drive him to Arizona from New York to visit his ex-wife.  I loved the way Lewis's character grew and changed along with Chester.  Such a wonderful story of personal growth and how 2 generations can help change the attitude of people.  Read this one, It's terrific.
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Lewis was expecting a promotion and a raise in his pay envelope, but was shocked by what he found instead.  Heading for home, he found his partner leaving for California without him.  His curmudgeonly, homophobic neighbor (Chester Wheeler) was happy to lose “one of the fruits” from the neighborhood.  With time on his hands and not knowing what his future holds, Lewis hesitantly agrees to take over Chester’s care after he’s chased everyone else away with his rude and abusive behavior. After all Chester is dying and Lewis needs the money. When Chester wants to journey across the US in his old Winnebago, Lewis reluctantly goes along with the plan not knowing how much the journey will impact the both of them.  While Lewis started the journey not liking Chester, he definitely ends the trip with a deeper one understanding of him. Meeting Chester Wheeler is a life changing experience for Lewis and one you won’t want to miss.  Hyde knows how to write books that open our eyes and tug at our heartstrings. A beautifully written, heartwarming story filled with characters that won’t soon be forgotten. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde is really great at writing a delightful character-driven novel. This one is about Chester and Lewis, two people that thrown together more out of necessity than choice. Chester needed a carer and Lewis needed a job. No one could stand doing it for Chester since he was very unlikable. Lewis also thought that he won't make it. But their journey goes toward an unexpected friendship. It's a beautiful story about life and finding our true purpose in life. This book is heartwarming and inspiring.

Thank you to Lake Union Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced digital copy of this wonderful story in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions above are my own.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde has penned such a delightful character driven novel about an unlikely pair and their journey toward an unexpected friendship.  This is a beautiful story about life, it’s lessons, and finding our true purpose, and I found it to be heartwarming, uplifting and inspiring. 

Lewis Madigan is a twenty-four year old gay man who finds himself unemployed and unattached in the course of one day.  His depressing and dire circumstances bring him somewhat to a crossroads as to where his life path should take him.  

Chester Wheeler is Lewis’s unbearably rude, obstinate, homophobic next door neighbor.  He’s the sort of miserable mean person that takes pleasure from other peoples misery, and he happily gloats from his porch as he watches Lewis’s life slowly crumble apart. Terminally ill, Chester is wheelchair bound and requires around the clock care, but he’s such a miserable person, he’s managed to push all his caregivers away.  Even his children don’t want to deal with him.  Lewis, an earnest young man, finds himself roped into becoming Chester’s temporary caregiver.  How bad can it be, it’s only for a short time.

 A dying man’s last wish finds the two heading across the country in an old Winnebago on a journey that is packed with heartache and humor.  Grievances are revealed, disappointments and resentments are shared, truths are accepted, and understanding and forgiveness is granted.  A perfect reminder that everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about.  We should all be kinder.  I absolutely loved watching Lewis’s growth in finding his purpose.  Sometimes the path we’ve taken may not be what was meant to be.  He was beautifully flawed and I appreciated his honesty, his sometimes tough love, his courage in exploring his career path, and his compassion as a human being.  Despite how bad Chester treated him, he always treated him with dignity.  The unlikely friendship that bloomed between the two was heartwarming and heartbreaking.  I laughed and I cried.  

When I’m sad to leave the characters behind at the last page, I know it was a great story, and I loved everything about this one.  

I have only recently discovered this amazing author but am finding myself gobbling up as much of her work as I can. Her writing is beautiful and her stories heartfelt.  

Thank you to Lake Union Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced digital copy of this wonderful story in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions above are my own.
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Chester and Lewis are two people thrown together more out of necessity than choice.  Chester needed a carer
and Lewis needed a job.  They were miles apart in nature.  But both found so much more. Is it possible for a grumpy old man set in his way.  And his young carer who had never cared for anyone else, ever agree on anything.  But as time went bye Lewis found the job he had always been looking for and Chester showed his true self.  Their conversations in this book make a great read, and their friendship grows.
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4 unlikable character story

Catherine Ryan Hyde is an author who delivers emotional, worthwhile stories filled with memorable characters. This one has just such a memorable, although not very likable character, Chester Wheeler.

Lewis Madigan is in his early 20s, working as a computer programmer, and thinking he’s about to get a raise. Instead, he’s fired and arrives home to discover his boyfriend moving out to California without him.

His miserable next-door neighbor, Chester, insults him frequently, calling him “fruit”. He’s driven away every home health aide in Buffalo with his attitude. Now Chester’s sister makes an incredible ask of Lewis, could he do just a few days of care for Chester while she visits her daughter who is about to have a baby?

Desperate for money to pay the rent, Lewis agrees and has to deal with Chester all day. Somehow Lewis finds the strength to put up with Lewis, and even finds he might have a talent for this type of work. Then Chester asks Lewis for the impossible. He wants to visit his ex-wife in Arizona. This unlikely pair starts a road trip to Arizona in Chester’s old but reliable Winnebago.

I kept hoping for a big change in Chester where he would be nicer. Realistically, that never happens. It’s interesting to see what end-of-life care really looks like and it is an area of work that only the right people can fill. How would you reconcile with people from your past? Are there things you need to say while you have time? While I never grew fond of Chester, I think he will be a memorable character!
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A review from Fantastic Fiction:

Unlikely road trip companions form an unexpected bond in an uplifting novel about the past—lost and found—by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.

Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.

So Long, Chester Wheeler is an uplifting novel about looking deeper into the heart and soul to form bonds with the last people we’d expect—only to discover that they’re the ones who need it most.

I have enjoyed reading all her books highly recommend.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde does it again!! This is a author that you know when she releases a book you are going to read it!!! I was so excited when I received this ARC I couldn't wait to read it. This book will give you all the feels. This is a very relatable and uplifting story. I highly recommend this book!

Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me to read this ARC.
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Another heartfelt book by Catherine Ryan Hyde! Chester started out as such an inoperable character but he really developed and I enjoyed the relationship and banter between the two main characters. Whenever I need a feel good book I can always turn to CRH. I received a free copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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This author is one of my utmost favorite authors of all time. I do not need to ever read the summary of her books to see if I think I will like to read it, I KNOW I will love every book she writes. She always presents such wonderful characters and thought-provoking storylines, every book is powerful and unforgettable. I couldn’t help but notice her talent once again with being able to capture deep, introspective thoughts that I never had been able to either reach or put into words myself, and then cause me to truly reflect on these new thoughts at length, and I think will become unforgettable. Each character in this book is expertly created and every single word and action aligns with their corresponding persona perfectly. The relationship between the two main characters is quite unique, and it is absolutely heartbreaking and heartwarming to see how it grows and changes over time. There are so many topics presented in this book, many that are deep and sensitive, and also some that are upsetting and triggering. It was easy to envision the conversations between them, and as much as some of the lingo made me wince and cringe, it aligned with what you would expect from Chester Wheeler. That is the other thing I love about many of Hyde’s characters, they are referred to by their full name and not just their first name. It is very fitting to the character in each of the books. I also laughed several times, it wasn’t all disturbing, especially the part when Lewis was explaining what LGBT is to grumpy “homophobic” Chester. There were scenes that the banter between the two was perfectly timed and I loved seeing how they adapted to their changing relationship with each other. 

This was another absolutely wonderful, deep, and introspective novel written by an exceptionally talented author. Highly recommended!
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So Long, Chester Wheeler just about broke my heart, and I mean that in the nicest way. Many, many years ago, I became so incredibly hooked in another Catherine Ryan Hyde novel and I said she's been an author to watch. I was definitely right, and many years later, she has topped Pay It Forward.

Chester is a grumpy, homophobic jerk. He's also dying. That's why his daughter is so desperate to find a caregiver who won't give in to his attitude and quit within a week.

Enter his neighbor, Lewis Madigan, a gay software engineer who is expecting the first sizable raise in his new career only he gets a pink slip. Not only that, but Lewis's boyfriend leaves him and takes their entire savings at the same time. Lewis needs money badly enough that he agrees to be Chester's caregiver until Chester's daughter is able to find someone else.

Chester has never had a nice word for Lewis, but Lewis is made of tougher material than past caregivers. He lets Chester's attitude and insults roll off him. When Chester demands that Lewis drive him from New York to Arizona in Chester's old Winnebago, so that Chester can settle a few things with the ex-wife he hasn't seen in over three decades. Lewis has no intention on saying yes, yet that's exactly what he ends up doing.

I loved this book. In a lot of ways, Chester's grumpiness reminded me a lot of my mom when she was dying. My mom wasn't like Chester in terms of bigotry, but the hurtful things she could say as Alzheimer's destroyed her brain. They were really hard to let roll off, so I get how strong Lewis was.

Watching the men develop a friendship, of sorts, made this book seem very genuine. I was hooked and sat up late at night to see how it would all play out. I wasn't disappointed.
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When you learn a neighbor, who is not a friend, has a dying wish to go on a two-thousand-mile road trip, would you take them?  Lewis can't bring himself to say no. This story is about their journey and so much more.  Catherine Ryan Hyde has written another great book! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC ebook in exchange for my honest review.
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Hyde did it again - wove another story with characters that are beautiful and flawed. I think her stories always manage to show how humans form relationships with each other. In this book, she gives us Chester Wheeler, a crochity old man who relishes lashing out at those around him, and Lewis, his neighbor that agrees to care for him out of desperation.
Lewis - oh Lewis. What a golden heart he has. There are definitely times where Chester's heckling upsets Lewis but he is able to put aside the negativity and find something positive --- because he's got a kind heart but also because he realizes that Chester is dying and it won't be forever. This compassion leads him to agree to help Chester get closure with family and friends. The cross country journey reveals strength and weakness in both men.

This book is beautiful. I loved it.

I received a dARC from the publisher via NetGalley; this is my honest review. (Loved it so much I bought a copy)
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Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.

Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.

An interesting and enjoyable character driven book that I found I really enjoyed! I loved the development of the characters and their stories that Catherine dealt with so beautifully in this book. There were some laugh out loud moments too. My first Catherine Ryan Hyde read - but it certainly won't be my last!
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This book was fantastic! I really enjoyed it and it kept me guessing throughout, which is difficult for most books to do. I felt like I connected with the characters and really enjoyed the plot!
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EXCERPT: . . . I wandered over to the only closed bedroom door. I stood in front of it, breathing purposefully, for what felt like a long time.

Then I rapped softly. Very softly.

Chester's gravelly voice came back at me immediately. It was not soft.

'Leave me alone, Ellie.'

'It's not Ellie,' I said through the door. 'It's me, Lewis. Can I open the door?'

'I don't care. I don't need you here. Just go away and leave me on my own. I'll call you if I'm dying.'

'I'm going to open the door now, Chester.'

'No, do not open that door.'

I opened the door.

The room was dusty and depressingly dim. Everything had such a dank feel, and the air was so heavy it was almost too thick to breathe. It felt weirdly like being under water.

He was sitting in his wheelchair by the window, as though looking out, but he couldn't possibly have been looking out because the shades were drawn. That seemed odd. Then again, it was Chester Wheeler. Did I expect anything non-odd?

ABOUT 'SO LONG, CHESTER WHEELER': Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.

Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.

MY THOUGHTS: So Long, Chester Wheeler is a quietly important book. Most of the read, it felt quite ordinary. But every now and then there were these 'WOW!' moments. And it's those moments that matter.

This is a reminder that everyone has a past, a story, that has helped form the person that they are today. And until we know that story we have no right to judge.

I loved the parts about the caregiving to the elderly and dying. It's a very special and undervalued role. It's not all about wiping bottoms and cleaning up messes. It's also about listening and providing emotional support.

Despite his being a curmudgeonly old grump, I loved Chester's character. There's brilliant dialogue between Chester and Lewis; some is touching, some is funny, some is downright sad.

I felt that the epilogue was totally unnecessary. It really doesn't add anything of value to the story.

There are a number of valuable life lessons woven seamlessly into this book. As I said earlier, it's a quiet book. CRH doesn't slap the reader around the ears with a piece of 4 x 2 and say 'You need to take this lesson away from this story.' I think we will all take different things away, as we should.

Although I don't think this is her best work, 'So Long, Chester Wheeler' is definitely worth reading.

⭐⭐⭐.7

#SoLongChesterWheeler #NetGalley

I: @catherineryanhyde @amazonpublishing

T: @cryanhyde @AmazonPub

#contemporaryfiction #deathanddying #romance

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 So Long, Chester Wheeler 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 Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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So Long,  Chester Wheeler is in a way a wonderful coming- of- age story,  set against the backdrop of a young man Lewis caring for his elderly neighbour Chester Wheeler, a cantankerous old man whom no one could stand. Though he takes up the job as a means- to- an- end after having lost his job, the few days he spends in this endeavour help him understand himself and  get an insight into where he can proceed futther in his life. 

The author has written a heart-warming story of the various states of a human condition. She explores the many reasons a person can behave the way they tend to usually and what it takes to see past the behavior into the actual person. She manages to pull is into the minds of the people we are reading about, in an interesting manner. It is a lovely read which I enjoyed quite very well.
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I will look for your book on another reading platform.  Twice now I am unable to read much anticipated titles on my device.  I will be moving on from Net Galley, but look forward to finding your book elsewhere.
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What an amazing book, I really enjoy so much every single book Catherine Ryan Hyde puts out into the world because it is always the regular stories that are full of magic and you never know where are going to take you, each character has a story that will unfold the more pages you read the more they grow and at the end, you will see how much they have been transformed by the amazing skills of Catherine's writing.

So Long, Chester Wheeler is the story of two very different neighbors one is very old Chester Wheeler who is in a wheelchair not able to move around and do anything like a healthy person, he was very angry with the entire world, especially with every single of his caretakers, kicking them out or making them leave in any way they can so he could be alone, His family is tired of not being able to get a hold of any of these nurses or people who can help them to keep Chester safe even from himself.

Lewis is a young Gay neighbor who just lost the love of his life and is not in a good place at the moment he also lost his job and is not in any position to be happy or be able to survive these crazy changes in his life but soon something will happen that will change his fortune and will even change his own life.

Lewis found himself now taking care of his homophobic neighbor something he detested so much as Chester was never a kind person to deal with but is the only way he will survive by accepting this job. 
after all, is only running errands and being on call for whatever he needed but that was not that simple soon Chester had a brilliant idea that will change the dynamic forever and will force Lewis to go out of his comfort zone.

Chester and Lewis embark on a great adventure driving a few miles or better said a lot of miles to visit Chester's ex-wife and maybe a close friend whom he lost by some crazy mistake and misunderstanding that is taking years for Chester to move on. This is exactly when things started to make sense and even Chester show his real self, I really enjoy these two during the trip because their batter was hilarious.

So Long, Chester Wheeler another emotional uplifting ride with so much to learn and to understand. 
I really love the characters and the story so much that I wish it never ended as everything was amazing. 

Thank you, NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced copy of So Long Chester Wheeler in exchange for my honest review.
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I am always intrigued by Catherine Ryan Hyde's premises and storytelling. The characters she creates always feel so real to me and I find myself caring deeply for them. So Long, Chester Wheeler is no exception. If you love a story about generation gaps being filled and common ground being found, pease read this, you will not be disappointed.
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