Member Reviews

Hmm definitely not my favourite book by this author, but it was still beautifully written and emotional. I tend to like novels about family drama (and this one deals with adopted children), so this one was lovely. Just couldn't connect with any of the characters.
I'll keep picking up future releases by Ryan Hyde, though.
I'd easily recommend this book to everyone who's read a book by this author before.

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Absolutely delightful, inspiring, heartwarming and challenging! Dr. Maggie Blount and her partner and boyfriend Alex run Doctors on Wheels who go to areas where there has been a disaster such as a hurricane. On one occasion they came across two girls whose parents were killed. Maggie could not bear to leave them behind so she eventually adopted them. The household was chaos! Maggie’s two birth daughters were not happy with the situation, they are privileged, demanding and used to getting everything they wanted. The adopted two were the opposite, polite, helpful, wanting nothing except love. A beautiful story of a blended family and the difficulties.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thank You Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing

Publish Date: Nov 12th, 2024

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

This book explores the impact that the adoption of two orphaned teenagers has on a broken family and Maggie Blount, a divorced mother of two and a former California physician, left her practice due to a disaster. Now, she's part of a mobile medical service, Doctor on Wheels, alongside Alex, her professional and romantic partner. When a category five hurricane hits Louisiana. Maggie forms a bond with two sisters.

They are all trying to navigate life together, facing challenges, but that's their new reality.

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Rolling Toward Clear Skies is the latest offering from my favourite contemporary women’s fiction writer, Catherine Ryan Hyde. It still amazes me that she finds something new to write about twice a year. This one explores the impact that adoption of two orphaned teenagers has on a broken family. I didn’t love it as much as some of her previous novels, mainly because of the characters, who are at best bland and difficult to cheer for, and at worst odious narcissists, but it’s still an uplifting comfort read with the usual heartwarming resolution.

Maggie Blount is a primary care physician and the divorced mother of two impossible to please teenage girls, Willa and Gemma. She recognises her role in spoiling them, but doesn’t know how to fix it. Her escape is her role with emergency response charity, Doctors on Wheels, that she runs with her handsome younger boyfriend, nurse Alex. When they travel to Louisiana after a severe hurricane in their clinic on wheels, the last thing she expects is to bring home two shellshocked girls and their hungry rescue puppy. Jean and Rose are kind, polite and humble - everything her own selfish children are not. Can Maggie unite her new blended family or has she made a terrible mistake?

This was a quick read and I enjoyed the first part about the medics helping the victims of the hurricane in various ways and meeting the two orphans. The middle part, where they return to California and have to face the wrath of Maggie’s monstrous offspring, was harder to read about - it got rather repetitive and I found the new girls’ saccharine passivity and pliability too good to be true. The denouement is no great surprise, although the social media aspects were at least thought-provoking, and we get an appropriately happy ending. 3.5 rounded up.

Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union for the ARC. Rolling Toward Clear Skies is published on November 12th.

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This book was a funny choice as I spontaneously picked it as Hurricane Beryl hit Houston. Not to mention how the first chapter referenced a hurricane missing Galveston as the wind whirled around my home.
This was a refreshing book. Interesting storyline and a nice introduction to the author for me. I appreciated how it told the story of the selflessness and sacrifices emergency medical workers face and how it can spill over into their families.
Overall, it was a quick read. Bite sized chapters. There were a few lines that were odd making me think content was edited out and the lines were left.

Thank you for allowing me to read this

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This author never ceases to amaze me! This book kept me captivated till the very last page! Wonderful characters and storyline. You won't be disappointed! Highly recommend!

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What a wonderful story about being grateful for all that you have and understanding that a lot of things we think we need are actually extras, and that the most important thing is to be loved and care for.
I loved the comparisons between Jean and Rose and Maggie's own children Willa and Gemma. How grateful Jean and Rose are for everything they receive from Maggie and are willing to do chores and help out with Doctors on Wheel because they just want to. I also like how Jean and Rose don't intrude on Willa and Gemma's space and have volunteered to move to the basement instead of using Willa and Gemma's bedrooms, because they know it's the right thing to do.
It was sad that Maggie's own daughters Willa and Gemma used things to fill that empty space inside themselves, which was create not only by the divorce between Maggie and her ex-husband, but also the absence of Maggie when she went off to volunteer for Doctors on Wheel and left them with her ex-husband, not knowing any of this was effecting them, and it wasn't until Maggie foster Jean and Rose that she could see what was happening with her own daughters and see the comparison. That comparison allowed all of them to look hard at their lives and make changes that made everyone feel better about themselves and work out that empty feeling inside.
I don't know how Catherine Ryan Hyde comes up with these thoughtful and surprising stories but each one has taught me something about my own life and makes me wish I was part of the story.
I want to Thank Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy of this thought provoking story.

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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC! Rolling Toward Clear Skies by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a novel all about family dynamics. Maggie, a medical doctor, works with her longtime boyfriend Alex on a Doctors On Wheels RV. They travel around the United States to various disasters to help people in need when hospitals are overflowing and help is often out of reach for many victims. One evening while working in a disaster zone following a hurricane, Maggie befriends two girls. What happens next is nothing short of someone representing the true human spirit we all should have and strive for. Maggie‘s daughters are not at all what she had envisioned they’d be as teenagers, but throughout the turmoil, they learn that there are more important things in life than materialistic things. They learn to set aside their differences and their self centred beliefs for the greater good. Overall, this was a heartwarming story that I would recommend to others.

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this book is full of emotions and family turmoil.
I have never read a book by this renowned author Catherine Ryan Hyde and I will definitely be looking for more written by her.
Excellent.

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Rolling Toward Clear Skies by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Maggie Blount, divorced mother of two and California physician, puts her private practice on hold when disaster strikes. Doctors on Wheels takes her and Alex—Maggie’s professional and romantic partner—wherever they’re needed. After rolling into rural Louisiana in the wake of a category five hurricane, Maggie immediately bonds with two sisters and their puppy, all orphaned by the storm. It’s enough to break Maggie’s heart, and she’s not leaving them behind.
Wow such a brilliant and engaging story I didn't want it to end.

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Is a book filled with emotions, happiness, anxiety, struggling and some other sad moments. It involves you in the sequence of the story that far that It'll make you feel the emotions the characters are going through. If you're a parent you'll feel in touch with Maggie, the struggle that she goes through with being a mom, a working woman and also having a couple, If you're a teen you might also feel close to the kids... The story gives you some tips on how to handle situations, and when it's just best to let it be, also how your surroundings may influence your feelings.
My admiration is to Maggie, with all the battle she goes through throughout the story and how on top of everything she decides to tell her life story to the world.

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Kind of dull. I appreciated the sentiment but it lacked compelling details to pull it along. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you Net Galley and author for the ARC copy in exchange for feedback.
Rolling Toward Clear Skies tells the story of Maggie, a doctor who volunteers with Doctors on Wheels, and her daughters. While volunteering at a disaster, Maggie treats two young girls with pneumonia, only to find out that their parents died when the roof fell in on them. With no family, Maggie agrees to foster the girls. But, her daughters are not happy. Maggie is navigating an ex-husband and a fiancé. Two biological daughters and then the two foster daughters.
Maggie realized her 2 biological daughters were spoiled, and doubts her parenting skills, as so many of us do.
I really liked Maggie and how she handled the situation. The book is very relevant to today’s social media issues and parents will relate.

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In nearly all of Hyde's books, children and animals play a part. Maybe it's because children and animals have their instinct and intuition intact; life hasn't "taught" it out of them yet. This book is no different.

Teenagers Jean and Rose, sweet and unassuming, have lost their parents in a hurricane in Louisiana. Maggie and Alex are a doctor and a nurse, respectively, who travel to natural disasters to help the doctors and nurses already on the ground. Gemma and Willa are Maggie's entitled, spoiled daughters from her former marriage. When disaster strikes Jean and Rose, Maggie can't help but want to find a safe place for these teen-aged girls to land. One thing leads to another and Jean and Rose end up going back to California with Maggie and Alex.

Willa and Gemma don't know what to make of these two young women who are polar opposites of them. The lessons to be learned are obvious to the reader, but the journey of the lesson-learning is what Hyde does best. She's a storyteller, and she does it like no other.

This cast of characters are people we've all known or met or can understand. I love that Hyde, without fail, writes about people we know. It makes this story and all her stories relatable and it makes us want to know what happens next. This one is a page-turner and I think you'll enjoy this journey and these people so much.

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When Dr Maggie and her nurse boyfriend Alex leave her two daughters with their dad, to work Doctors on Wheels, during disaster relief for a hurricane, they meet two orphan sisters. They ultimately brings them home and struggles to integrate them into the lives of her own privileged daughters.

This story does a nice job of accurately portraying the challenges of parenting teenagers. I enjoyed the arc of this book and thought that as usual Ryan Hyde wrote a compelling and read-worth story!

Thank you so much Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This novel was a fast, entertaining read that at times stretched the boundaries of credulity. The characters are cast in stereotypical roles that only become more realistic toward the closing chapters.

Maggie Blount is a divorced physician who volunteers for Doctors on Wheels (DOW), a free mobile clinic that responds to disaster-stricken areas in dire need of health care. As the single mother of two teenage girls, she struggles to balance her personal and professional responsibilities, which overlap with her relationship with Alex, her life partner, and the founder of DOW.
The storyline begins when Alex and Maggie travel to Louisiana to provide aid in the wake of a major hurricane. While there, they provide care for two orphaned teenage sisters who make a profound impression of Maggie. Ultimately, she adopts them and compounds her single parenting status.

The book explores the challenges of blended families. Here is where the character development steers into rigid stereotypes. Maggie’s birth daughters are insufferable. Their arrogant entitlement, coupled with their whining victim stance makes them extremely unsympathetic. The newly adopted daughters are so good their halos practically radiate off the pages. Maggie’s ex-husband is antagonistic and Alex, her current partner, is blandly supportive but passive. Maggie, herself, wrestles with self-doubt and guilt over her parenting skills. The best character in the book is Sunny, a rescued puppy who provides a bit of levity and realism.

The intent to portray significant social/family issues is admirable, but overall, it falls short in the execution. Given these shortcomings, I still found myself engaged in the storyline and awaiting the outcome of all the chaos.

My thanks to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the privilege of reviewing this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

This review is being posted immediately to my GoodReads account and will be posted on Amazon upon publication.

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5*++++++! I am such a fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde that sometimes it is hard for me to read her books. And that’s mainly because once I read them, I don’t want them to end. This book, Rolling Toward Clear Skies, is a perfect example. I love books with relatable stories and characters. In our lifetime it is plausible that there could be a small non-profit group that goes to help in natural disasters. I want to be best friends with Maggie and Alex. I’ve known sisters like Willa and Gemma. I had best friends like Jean and Rose. It is a very good book. I will definitely recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union for allowing me to read an advanced copy for my honest review.

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I really enjoyed this book. I originally picked it to review as it is something that I wouldn’t normally read but knew I would benefit allot from it. It is a relatively easy read that you can put down and return to, so is the ideal summer read. The book is emotional and features topics that many would avoid, but dose so in an empathic and relatable way. My only issue with the book is how heavily it bases on the differences between the two sets of sisters, rather than what they had I common and how they get over these said differences. It led to a very predictable story line and a very sudden ending, without these small factor it would have been a easy 5 rather than a 4.5.

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I’ve read other books by Catherin Ryan Hyde, and in my opinion, she is a gifted storyteller. This particular captivating story of a single mother with two teenage daughters, ages 14 and 17, captured my heart from the beginning. Willa and Gemma could easily be called entitled and spoiled, and their mother, Dr. Margaret Blount, who goes by Maggie, holds herself accountable for raising the teenage monsters, specifically after the divorce from their dad when they were too often, over indulged.
Maggie is a primary care physician, and her boyfriend, Alex, a registered nurse, is the founder of Doctors on Wheels. When there is a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, flood, etc., they travel in their 40-foot motor coach, which serves as a clinic on wheels and offer medical care at no cost.
While in Louisiana, after a major hurricane, two very sick, girls, the ages of Maggie’s girls come to the clinic suffering with pneumonia, and injuries a result the hurricane. These girls also witnessed the drowning of their parents. With no place to go, Maggie allows the girls, Jean and Rose to stay in the motor home, so she can monitor their care and recovery. It is quickly noted that Jean and Rose are the exact opposite of her own daughters.
When it’s time to go head back to her home in an affluent area of Southern California, Maggie is not about to leave Jean and Rose, who will be sent to a foster home. Maggie applies to foster them herself, and upon their arrival at her home, Willa and Genna take an instant dislike to the sweet, polite girls with a southern accent.
With four teenage girls in the house who are polar opposites, there are many twists and turns. Maggie takes a leave of absence from work since she’s not entirely sure it’s safe to leave them home alone during the summer. Until the last page was turned, this intriguing story was nearly impossible to put down.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All comments and opinions are my own.

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Maggie is a divorced doctor with two teenage girls. She and her romantic partner put their lives on hold and answer the call when survivors of natural disasters need immediate medical help. After a stage 5 hurricane in Louisiana, she helps two teenage girls who lost their parents in the storm. She falls in love with them, applies as a foster parent and eventually adopts them. Her biological girls are less than thrilled with this new blended family.

I have read over half of this author's forty plus books. I love many of her stories, but this one, not so much. Maggie's two daughters are totally obnoxious to the point of seeming evil. Her two adopted daughters are unbelievably nice to the point of being sickly sweet. Everything was black and white here, with no shades of gray. There was little to no plot. A disappointing read because I know this author can do better.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this advance copy.

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